Chennai: A pavement flower-seller of Puzhuthivakkam, near St Thomas Mount here, has scripted a heartwarming tale of honesty that could well get into textbooks on corporate integrity.
Finding that she had swapped her cloth bag with a similar one while buying vegetables at the Koyambedu wholesale market, K. Renuka, 37, got in touch with the police to quickly restore it to its owner.
The Rs 5 lakh that the bag contained was no temptation for this woman eking out a hand-to-mouth existence and even educating her teenage daughter in an engineering college, recalled Koyambedu inspector B. Sampath.
There is even more drama in that Kollywood kind of story that took place early this month.
Muniammal (55), the woman who had lost the bag while shopping at the vegetable market, lodged a complaint at the Koyambedu police station and calmly took a bus to return home at Sekkadu in Tiruvallur district, about 35 km north. “We were surprised that she was not agitated losing such a big sum of money. When we asked her how she could be so cool, Muniammal said since she had just then eaten the prasadam at a nearby Ayyappa temple, she was confident that the same Ayyappa would restore the money to her. And she got the money back within 24 hours,” said the inspector.
Muniammal left the money with her brother at Choolaimedu after disposing of her land. It was while returning home with the money that she stopped to shop at Koyambedu vegetable market and lifted the wrong bag.
When Renuka brought the bag to the police station, the two women hugged each other. While Muniammal was thankful for the flower-seller’s honesty and not yielding to temptation despite her poverty, Renuka brushed it aside. “There’s nothing great about being simply honest,” she told DC....