Tuticorin,Feb19 (PTI) The famous port here in thisancient city of Tamil Nadu was renamed after late freedomfighter V O Chidambaranar today.
''''Before taking charge as Union Minister the first Port Ivisited was Tuticorin Port in May 2009, because it carried theimage of great freedom fighter V O Chidambaranar from thistown...'' Union Shippping Minister G K Vasan said.
Presiding over a function here to rename the TuticorinPort as ''V O Chidambaranar port'', Vasan said he was happy toannounce conferment of government employee status to the portlabourers.
Chidambaranar was an outstanding trade union leader andthis is also a tribute to V O Chidambaranar''s concern forlabour force and their welfare, he said.
He also honoured Valeshwaran -- Chidambaranar''s onlysurviving son.
Valeswaran said the demand to rename the Tuticorin Portafter his father was made as early as 1972, when former PrimeMinister, the late Indira Gandhi, visited this town duringthe birth centenary of the freedom fighter.
''''But it was only fulfilled by Vasan..,'''' he added.
Former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president KumariAnandhan urged people to carry forward the patriotic spirit ofChidambaranar.
Chidambaranar, born on September 5 1872, hailed fromOttapidaram near Tuticorin. As part of Swadeshi movement, hehad started the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company and hadprocured two ships. He launched the first indigenous IndianShipping service between Tuticorin and Colombo in 1906.
An Indian National Congress member, he was charged withsedition by the British government and sentenced to lifeimprisonment. He died in 1936.