The Trichy District (where Thuraiyur is) lies at the central point of the Tamilnadu State. Rain comes from two monsoon winds; the northeast and southwest. The northeast monsoon brings heavy rainfall at the coastal area of Tamilnadu. When the wind reaches the central part of the state very small amount of rain fall. During the southwest monsoon, the western-ghat hills between Tamilnadu the its neighbouring state, Kerala, blocks the rain fall. Thus, the dry wind causes the central area to be drought prone.
The main river that runs through this region is the Cauvery. It originates from the other neighbouring state of Karnataka and flow through Tamilnadu. This river is the main source of water for both consumption and irrigation. However, the Karnataka state dams the river upstream thus allowing very little or no water at all for the Tamil people along its bank.
Another water source are ground water, these sources near Thuraiyur are mostly salty, therefore not suitable for drinking. State supplied water comes from one of these sources and the people of Thuraiyur and its surrounding area are always in need of clean drinking water.
The Sanggam sees this opportunity as its rightful duty to supply drinking water to these people. Using water tankers that are attached to lorries and tractors, the Sanggam buys water from a land owner who has clean underground water supply and distributes freely to about 40,000 people daily. It covers the Thuraiyur town and its surrounding area. Daily about 5,000 litres of water is supplied to these unfortunate people.
Feeding the hungry
The Sanggam provides basic food for the poor and hungry. This consists of rice, sambar (dhall curry), rassam (spicy soup) and whey. Everyone is fed until satisfaction once a day. At the centre in Ongkarakudil, Thuraiyur, about 1,500 to 2,000 people are fed daily. The Sanggam also has a centre about 7 km away at the foot of the Perumal Hill. This lies at the outskirts of Thuraiyur town where many old and homeless people live. Everyday about 2,000 people are given food here.
The Sanggam also extends its help to villages in about 50 km radius, providing food packets. These packets consists of tamarind rice, lemon rice, curd rice, vegetable rice or tomato rice. They are prepared at the Ongarakudil centre and are delivered to their destinations using lorries. This helps poor farmers, labourers and cattle herds to regain their strengths and to continue with their work.
For all these about 2,000 kg of rice are cooked everyday. [But when funds are insufficient, the quantity is reduced thus some of the services are stopped]. The Sri Agathiar Sanmaarga Charitable Trust also has branches at various places in the Tamilnadu State. Here the volunteers also cook and distribute food on daily or weekly basis depending on the financial situation.