Madheswaran ancestors came as agricultural laborers from Tiruchirapalli and settled at Vandiyooran theru in erode 100 years before. Those were the times when  Erode had huge farmlands owned by landlords. In these farmlands, children used to be employed as laborers. One way it gave refuge to children  from poverty and hunger according to Madheswaran. Children were given work to do. In turn they were provided with food and a place to stay. Madheswaran’s grandfather was sent to work at a very young age to  one such  farmland in Karungalpalayam near erode.

Madheswaran ancestors came as agricultural laborers from Tiruchirapalli and settled at Vandiyooran theru in erode 100 years before. Those were the times when  Erode had huge farmlands owned by landlords. In these farmlands, children used to be employed as laborers. 

 

Banana Plantations nearby Cauveri River at Erode,Tamilnadu © Balamurali Krishnan
Kalithaai Madheswaran’s Grandfather © Balamurali Krishnan
A Mill Nearby a farmland at Erode © Balamurali Krishnan

After independence erode with its abundant natural resources  including Cauveri river become an attractive destination for the textile, leather and paper mills.  Kalingarayan canal along with Cauveri and Noyyal rivers provided the water guzzling industries to flourish till now. with these industries thriving for decades erode became a  booming industrial hub from agrarian society.The family members of Madheswaran and the Vandiyooran theru community moved away from being agricultural laborers to industrial laborers, They were now working in the textile mills and paper mills. Vandiyooran theru became a colony for daily wage laborers most of them carrying heavy luggage for the transport companies which were transporting the textiles and leather materials manufactured to other parts of India.

The family members of Madheswaran and the Vandiyooran theru community moved away from being agricultural laborers to industrial laborers, They were now working in the textile mills and paper mills.

Project Eyam is trying to engage people with oral history of people of Tamilnadu and  through the insights of both old and young to question the mainstream perceptions and explore how this could help bring a deeper understanding about our society’s past and present. Photography and Editing by Balamurali Krishnan