The State government, on Wednesday, announced ‘Thagaisal Tamizhar’ (meaning outstanding Tamilian) award to senior CPM leader N Sankaraiah.
The award was announced after Chief Minister MK Stalin held a meeting with members of the jury consisting of Minister for Tamil Official Languages, Tamil Culture and Archaeology Thangam Thennarasu and Chief Secretary V Iraianbu, at the Secretariat, on Wednesday. The award, which carries a cash price of Rs 10 lakh and a certificate, will be handed over to Sankaraiah by the Chief Minister on Independence day.
‘Thagaisal Tamizhar’ is the highest award of the State government and Sankaraiah, a three-time MLA, will be its first recipient. Sankaraiah, who joined the communist party during his college days, served in prison for four years before independence and became MLA for the first time in 1967.
In a statement, Sankaraiah, who turned 100 on July 15, said he accepted the award announced in recognition to his service and thanked the CM for choosing him. “I am happily donating the Rs 10 lakh cash prize to the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. From the time I was a student, I have worked for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu. The country’s freedom struggle and the welfare of the working class. It has been my aim to create an exploitation-free socialist society on the basis of the Marxian ideology. I will continue to carry out this work till my last breath,” Sankaraiah said.
Sankaraiah had served the CPM in various positions and as its State secretary in 1995. He is known for his efforts to bring ration shops to rural areas during the rule of then Chief Minister MG Ramachandran.