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The news of lawyer K Uthamakumaran, who was constrained to take up his ancestral vocation of basket weaving to sustain himself during the COVID-19 crisis, prompted Chief Justice Menon to send him a letter.
The "heartbreaking news" of a Tamil Nadu-based lawyer who was constrained to take up basket weaving to sustain himself amid the COVID-19 crisis recently prompted Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon of the Chhattisgarh High Court to gift him Rs 10,000 as a token of appreciation.
In a letter sent to 34-year-old Uthamakumaran on Saturday, the Chief Justice wrote:
Last week, the Times of India had carried the story of Uthamakumaran, a first-generation advocate, who hailed from the tribal malai kuruvar community.
He told ToI that he had been earning an income of about Rs 25,000 per month as a lawyer practising in Thanjavur. However, following the closure of courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his savings were depleted by the end of May. He stays in Thennankudi with his wife and his seven-year-old son.
To sustain himself, Uthamakumaran fell back on his ancestral vocation of basket weaving. As quoted by ToI, he said,
"Since I had to eke out a living, I was ready to do any work. But the only other work I know was my ancestral vocation of weaving baskets from wild date palm fronds."
This news item prompted Chief Justice Menon to reach out to Uthamakumaran. While gifting him a cheque of Rs. 10,000, the Chief Justice added,
"It is also to alert the Lawyer’s fraternity at large to be ‘positive’, as every Sunset will be followed by a Sunrise."