Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao today unveiled a statue of Tamil poet, saint Avvaiyar, at the Raj Bhavan here in the presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee. While Palaniswami unveiled the Aathichudi slate, Justice Banerjee initiated the 'Akshrabhyasam' (initiation to education) on it, a Raj Bhavan release said. Speaking at the inauguration, Rao expressed pleasure in unveiling the statue of Avvaiyar and hailed her as an "epitome of wisdom" and the "symbol of Tamil culture, who lived around two thousand years ago and propagated the fragrance of Tamil literature and preached morality and spirituality." "The literary works of Avvaiyar namely Athichudi, Konraivendan, Nalvazhi are unparallelled. Avvaiyar's mastery in creativity is revealed in her songs of munificence.
Avvaiyar has left the stamp of her individuality. Her literary works are eternal and transcend the barriers of region, religion and language," he said. Though simple, the poet's works were filled with ethical ideals based on the lessons learnt by experience, he said, adding her poems were about hardships of life and the criteria of choosing a real friend. Pointing out that she emphasised on the importance of morality in many of her works, the Governor said "let us be righteous, develop moral qualities and humility to make our nation great." He said she foresaw skill development 2,000 years ago as a basic requirement for economic development and engaging the manpower gainfully. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'National Skill Development Mission' was also for channelising the abundant youth power and to develop skills in the youth of our nation to make India the skill capital of the world, Rao said. "It is really amazing what a farsighted vision Avvaiyar had for this 21st Century and beyond," he added. He said he was "moved by the thought provoking" messages conveyed by Avvaiyar in just two or three words in Athichudi, and therefore thought that a statue of her should be erected in Raj Bhavan. Rao also praised the Tamil language, saying the richness found in Tamil epics, literature, drama and poetry has earned them a unique place in the global arena.