Can you imagine a Prime Minister touching a woman’s feet, that too of a lady who was exactly 27 years younger to him? Well, this act was done by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose demise has left a void in the heart of the Indians.
A lady named P Chinnapillai of Tamil Nadu had accomplished the humongous task of empowering over 60,000 women who were later formed into groups called Kalanjiyam with the help of the NGO Dhan Foundation. So for being instrumental in executing this task, P Chinnapillai was selected for the “Shreesakthi” award given by the human resource development ministry in the year 2001. The award was scheduled to be given away by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The woman said “I was not selected just like that, officials visited my village Pulliseri in Madurai thrice before I was informed that I was the recipient of the award”. But what happened during the award ceremony could never be forgotten by her.
To receive this award, she had traveled to Delhi from Madhurai, for the first time. While giving out the award, not just this lady but the entire crowd was surprised by looking at the simplicity of former PM Atal Ji. Yes, the then Prime Minister touched the feet of Chinnapillai and this incident touched changed her life forever.
Why did Atal ji touch her feet?
P Chinnapillai stated she was thrilled to travel in flight but she was even more thrilled after the kind gesture of Atal ji. She said “It was nothing compared to the feeling I had when the Prime Minister touched my feet. I started shivering when he said Chinnapillai from Madurai, but I could not understand a word he said after that”.
“A person standing nearby later told me that the Prime Minister had touched my feet because he did not see me as just a female, but a goddess for the work I had done. I felt proud” she said.
Indians are really luck that they got a man who considered a women as goddess. This was an important juncture in the life of Chinnapillai. After this incident she was known as “the lady whose feet Vajpayee had touched in respect”. She even won several awards since then.
After hearing the tragic demise of the former Prime Minister, P Chinnapillai said “I felt shattered when some people informed me that former Prime Minister Vajpayee had passed away. I felt as if I had lost my father as he was the man who made the world look at me”.
Ever since she heard that the former PM was not keeping well and was admitted, she had been following his health condition. She added “I kept praying for him, but when I heard he had died sometime ago, I felt devastated”.
Chinnapillai wanted to go to Delhi and pay tributes to Atal ji but as her health was not keeping well she abondoned it. “I would have gone to New Delhi to pay my respects to the departed leader, but I am not well now” said Chinnapillai who is now 66 years old.
Source: Times Of India