Sunderkani is a frail old woman in her early eighties.
She lives with her son and daughter-in-law in a one-room shanty just off the main road in Virudhunagar town.
Sitting on a creaky bed she bursts into tears when I ask her about the recent death of her brother Veyilu Muthu.
“He was ill and I had gone to meet him. When he saw me he started crying and then he told me that his wife and children have given him oil bath and coconut water. He died the same day.”
In southern India parents traditionally bath their young child in oil once a week for good health.
But in this part of India, it means doom for the elderly. More...