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Chennai, July 03 – The effort of a woman engineer to change the name of the street where she resided from ‘Adi Dravidar Theru‘ or ‘Keezha Theru‘ or ‘Paraya Theru‘ to ‘Indira Nagar’ has given her accolades and self-esteem to her village.
Anasuya Saravanamuthu (29), a Civil Engineer, was sore that her village road in Anandhavadi in Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur district, was named with caste taglines even as the street and locality was originally titled, ‘Indira Nagar’ in 1998 when it was formed.
Speaking to media persons, she said that even in government documents and ID cards like Aadhaar card, ration card and voter ID card the name of the street was mentioned as Adi Dravidar street, but the original name went into oblivion.
Anasuya herself was on the receiving end when in her new Aadhaar card she could find her street as ‘Adi Dravidar Street’ even as she had applied with the name ‘Indira Nagar’. Determined to change this situation, she submitted a petition on August 8, 2022 to the collectorate along with signatures from other affected residents of the area.
She also submitted a petition to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s special cell on February 21, 2023 and later on July 1, 2023, the Anandhavadi panchayat installed a name board as ‘Indira Nagar’ in the street leading to her residence.
It may be noted that in the caste-ridden Tamil society, there are several streets that are named after the respective castes and caste Hindus generally used to call Dalits by names. This has often led to fights and even murders.
In 1978, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.G. Ramachandran had issued an order that directed removal of caste names from streets. The Dalit political party, VCK, office-bearers told IANS that the organisation would take up the matter to implement the decision taken by the late Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran.