Southern Scene

One servant just to make Horlicks: Judgment has details of Jayalalithaa’s lavish Poes Garden home

Jayalalithaa's house had a dozen cars, a dozen dogs, five phone connections and domestic just to make coffee and Horlicks.

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s residence in Chennai was maintained by an army of servants and run largely by her aide Sasikala. The judgment convicting Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two other associates for disproportionate assets contains detailed witness accounts of life in No. 36 Poes Garden – testimony that played a large part in convincing Judge John Michael Cunha that the four colluded to siphon money illegally.

Sasikala’s family

Prosecution witness M Jayaraman worked at Poes Garden between August 1993 and October 1996, looking after many of its daily affairs, including paying its staff. According to his testimony, in the year 2000, Sasikala, her nephew VN Sudhakaran, sister-in-law Illavarasi, Illavarasi’s son Vivek and Sudhakaran’s wife Satyalakshmi all lived in the house. There were frequently visited by more of Sasikala’s relatives.

One of Jayaraman’s important tasks was to deposit cash into two bank accounts from time to time. Sasikala would use the household intercom to give Jayaraman the details of the bank and accounts to be credited. She would then send the cash in a suitcase or bag with a servant, along with challan books to make entries for the deposits.

Jayaraman used to receive Sasikala and Sudhakaran’s phone calls on any of five phone connections in the house. In addition, the house had a separate phone line installed by the government for the chief minister.

Crowded house

There were 12 or 13 vehicles in Poes Garden and six drivers who were each paid Rs 1,500 per month. The house had a cook and two assistant cooks who made food for Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and her family, and another person to cook for the servants. Five girls and two boys between the ages of ten and fifteen used to perform domestic chores. Three guards from a private security firm watched over the house. Two sweepers and an electrician were also paid monthly salaries for maintenance work. The sole duty of one of the servants was to make coffee or Horlicks for visitors.

Eight litres of milk were supplied to the house every morning and ten litres every evening. No. 36 Poes Garden was also home to about a dozen dogs, for whom eight kilos of meat were bought every day from Chennai’s Pondy Bazaar. Most of the payments were made in cash, according to Jayaraman’s testimony.

Although Jayaraman contradicted his own statement when he was recalled by the defense in 2002 – while Jayalalithaa was once again chief minister – he later reverted to his original version of events in the case.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.