From the senior couple of who fought of robbers to families reunited after decades of separation – here are some stories worth remembering from TN this year.

Throwback Five must-read stories from the Tamil Nadu in 2019
news Human Interest Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - 16:24

As 2019 comes to an end, there is a general sense of unrest in the country. However, the year was not bereft of moments worth recalling as we head into a brand new decade. Here are some of the memorable stories TNM reported from Tamil Nadu in 2019.


On September 8, 2019, Nageshwar Rao and Sivagami finally met their son Avinash, who was cruelly kidnapped from them in February 1999 and sent to the US for adoption. A victim of Malaysian Social Service (MSS), an orphanage that facilitated the illegal adoptions of over 300 children from poor socio-economic backgrounds in Chennai, 22-year-old Avinash had a teary reunion with his parents. 

Read full story: Chennai couple reunite with son who was kidnapped 20 years ago and adopted in US

On November 23, 2019, David Kildendal Nielsen ended his six-year search for his birth mother when he finally met her in the flesh in Chennai. David, then called Santhakumar, was 16 months old when he was adopted and taken to Denmark. “I have been longing for that moment my whole life. It was very emotional seeing her, talking to her and feeling her touch. It is difficult for me to put it into words. But it was exactly how I expected it to be,” he told TNM.

Read full story: Separated as a toddler, 40-yr-old Danish man finally finds his mother in Chennai

Standing wheelchair

India's first indigenously-designed 'Standing Wheelchair’ was launched in Chennai in November. Launched by IIT Madras in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems, the wheelchair, with deft, automated motions, enables the user to rise up to a standing position. And with an affordable price of Rs 15,000, it became a plausible innovation, and not just a one-prototype research project that would gather dust inside the lab.  

Read full story: The story of the IIT Madras research centre that made the standing wheelchair

When Madras HC shot down TN govt’s transphobia

Madras High Court stood up for trans woman Sreeja’s rights, and shut down the Tamil Nadu government’s transphobic arguments for why her wedding with a cis gender man could not be registered.

"It would also include an intersex person/transgender person who identifies herself as a woman. The only consideration is how the person perceives herself," Justice GR Swaminathan had said, ordering the government to register the couple’s wedding.

Read full story: Madras HC shuts down TN govt’s problematic argument, upholds trans woman’s marriage

Senior couple fights off robbers

It is natural to panic when one realises their house is being broken into by robbers. But 70-year-old Shanmugavel, a resident of Kalyanipuram in Kadaiyam was not the one to lose his cool. When a masked intruder entered his house one August evening he fought the man even as his 65-year-old wife quickly came to help, taking a shot with slippers at the intruder. The CCTV footage that recorded the incident was widely shared the couple received bravery awards from the Chief Minister. 

Read full story: Video: Elderly TN couple bravely fends off armed robbers with plastic chairs

Overcoming adversity to achieve excellence

25-year-old G Anandhi won 18 medals for academic excellence and a degree from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Science University, becoming an inspiration for many. The daughter of a lorry driver from the foothills of Kollimalai in Namakkal district, the young woman grew up with minimum resources at her disposal. Anandhi is the first person in her family to graduate from university, her mother has studied till the class 8 while her father studied up to class 11. 

Read full story: Daughter of a lorry driver, mom to toddler: This first gen graduate has left TN in awe


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