Actor turned politician, Kamal Haasan made his first stop at the town of Perumalmalai, that faced the wrath of the Gaja cyclone extensively last month. Due to the cyclone that crossed Tamil Nadu early on November 16, uprooted numerous trees, the heavy winds even destroyed the roofs of houses in the district.
Visiting the district, Makkal Needhi Maiam's leader interacted with residents where he was informed directly that the government is yet to issue orders to clear the trees and debris thereby causing immense difficulty to them. The people of the town further rallied their support for Haasan and his party for being the only person to visit them.
The residents of the district even declared their support to the party in forthcoming elections.
Speaking of the work by the Tamil Nadu government, Haasan said told Republic TV, "There has been some work from the electrical department, that's still half the distance. But other government officials are a bit slow, the other departments have to speed up the process. This has to be a sustained measure that only the government can do.
"This part (Tamil Nadu) has been dirtied by the storm so 'Swachh Bharat' has to be done. We have taken up the responsibility to start the construction of the building," he added.
During the time when the Gaja cyclone struck, on November 22, Kamal Haasan visited the various affected areas, to show his solidarity with the affected people, at the same time he even monitored the relief measures that his party undertook. During his visit, Hasan met with each and every driver of the vehicles carrying the relief material in Tanjore. He explained them the dos and don’ts and also told them about the significance of the relief material reaching the affected people safely.
The press release by Makkal Needhi Maiam, released on November 22, mentioned that relief material worth Rs 1.2 crores has been collected and dispatched to the affected areas in 60-70 vehicles by party members.
The state government had already announced a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to the family members of the deceased Sixty-three people have lost their lives in 4 districts because of Gaja's fury.
Cyclone Gaja had crossed the Tamil Nadu coast early on November 16 between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam. It had claimed 63 lives and left a trail of destruction in over ten districts, including Nagapttinam, Thiruvarur, Puthukottai, and Thanjavur which suffered severe damage. The Tamil Nadu government had earlier released a sum of Rs 1000 crore for immediate relief and rehabilitation efforts in the affected areas.