FACT FINDING TEAM’S REPORT
Philomena Mary, a 55 years old women was dead on 09.11.2009 at about 7.30 AM in Ceylon Quarters at Thirubuvanai village, Puducherry, due to collapse of the wall consequent on heavy downpour of rain.
We constituted a Fact Finding Team to go into the death of the women and to submit a detailed report to the Puducherry Government.
The Team members are:
1) G. Sugumaran, Secretary, Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry.
2) P. Markandan, Organising Committee Member, Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry.
3 ) G. A. Jegannathan, Vice-President, Puducherry State Village Panchayat Presidents Co-ordination of Federation.
4) R. Abimannan, President, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Puducherry.
5) Veera Mohan, Treasurer, Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK), Puducherry.
6) R. Sreenivasan, Social Activist.
The Team had visited the affected area of the Ceylon Colony and interacted with the inhabitant of the colony on 09.11.2009.
The residents of the Ceylon Colony are the native people of India. They were working as labourers in the Tea Estates of Sri Lanka for many years. These people are Sri Lankan repatriates returned back to India after Srimavo – Sasthri Pact signed by Sri Lankan and Indian Government. A total number of 21 families have come to Puducherry during January 1984 and 1985 with seven families and fourteen families respectively. They were accommodated in Celon Colony here. Presently there are 57 families altogether in this colony.
The Government had allotted a house to each family about 225 Sq. feet in size. This place was originally belongs to SPINCO Co-operative Spinning Mill. At that time, the Government had assured that each and every family should pay Rs. 22 every month for 22 years and thereafter the residents will be made as owners to the site and house. But, no money was collected from the residents, till date.
The houses in these quarters are in dilapidated condition and worth nothing to live in that house. Many houses are in a highly damaged condition and there is every possibility that these houses will collapse at any time. The residents of this colony complained to the Minister for Co-operation and SC welfare and other authorities several times but all ended in vain. During the recent rain also the people complained to the authorities. But the authorities never turned up. The woman’s death was purely because of the lethargic attitude and the Government is solely responsible for this incident.
The deceased women Philomena Mary have three daughters namely Maria Veyani (31), Sagaya Mary (26) and Venasse Mary (24). Though all of them have completed their education, they still remain unemployed and the elder daughter is a lunatic. After losing their mother the members of the family left abandoned.
The residents of this colony belong to Scheduled Caste. But, the Government refuses to give them Community Certificate as SC. Due to this attitude the children’s education is badly affected. They were also neglected from enjoying the Reservation Quotas and other benefits extended to SC people, due to non availability of caste certificate.
Also these quarters do not have any basic amenities like drinking water, roads, drainage, latrines, etc. Before six months the authorities performed a “Poomi Poojai” to construct the side drainage canal. But, the construction never began till date.
We humbly request your authority that,
1) The Government should pay Rs. 5 lakh as compensation to the victim Philomena Mary’s family, who was dead in a wall collapse due to recent rain in the Ceylon Colony and also a Government job for any one of the member of the affected family.
2) The Government should take steps to provide land pattas and replace the old building with newly constructed houses for the residents of Ceylon Colony.
3) The Government to take steps to give Community Certificate to the people immediately.
4) The Government should make available basic amenities to this colony immediately without delay.
5) The Government must help by all means for the effort of the NGO’s to uplift the people of this colony who were living without any livelihood.