Monday, Dec 22, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Governor of Tamil Nadu, P.S. Ramamohan Rao, handing over the first copy of the Tamil translation of a biography of Mother Teresa to writer S. Kandasamy, at Raj Bhavan, Chennai, on Sunday. The author, Navin Chawla, is to the left. Photo: M. Moorthy
The Tamil Nadu Governor, P.S. Ramamohan Rao, today handed the first copy of the publication to writer S. Kandasamy at a function at Raj Bhavan.
Mr. Rao said that Mother Teresa had become a saint in her own lifetime. No organisation had done so much work, consistently and for such a long time among the poorest of the poor. In his opinion, "the search for miracles to beatify her seems to distract from the great quality of her work."
Mr. Rao quoted T. Thomas, a business magnate, and said the Mother consistently refused to set up a corpus, saying that whatever money the order wanted would come on its own. He expressed the hope that the book would become a best-seller in Tamil.
Mr. Chawla said the book had done well since Mother Teresa blessed it. About 3,50,000 copies have been sold all over and the proceedings from the Indian editions went to the Missionaries of Charity. The royalty from the overseas edition was routed to the Lepra India Trust that he had set up to offer vocational training to those cured of leprosy. Recalling his association with Mother Teresa that went back to 1975, he said that her key concern was the condition of destitutes.
Mr. Chawla said that he had often asked the Mother what would happen to the Order after her time. After initial hesitancy, she once told him, "Let me go first." He persisted since he was writing her biography and she told him that as long as the Order continued to serve the poorest of the poor, there would be no problem.
Mr. Chawla said that five years after her death when he had made enquiries about the Order, he found that it had grown. It now had a presence in 130 countries - up from 123 earlier - and had 5,000 sisters. More than 1,000 had joined since the Mother's death. Mr. Kandasamy praised the efforts of the Tamil translator, G. Jacob, parish priest, Sacred Heart Church, Pondicherry, and said the translator had captured the nuances in a commendable manner.
A.S. Antonisamy, parish priest, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Pondicherry, said that Fr. Jacob had translated 11 works so far.
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