A poor laborer Kalyani (Ram) is devoted to his young daughter Chellamma (Baby Sadhana), but the child has problems at school with her studies, classmates, and teachers. Kalyani wants Chellamma to be happy, no matter what. Kalyani is a man who toils pretty hard to meet both ends, thereby trying not to live in his father’s (Poo Ramu) shade, but is forced to. Chellama is a sweet, angelic girl who fares below average in the class but is all chirpy and gleeful when she is with her father. Without a proper job and an income the tension that prevails in the house forces Kalyani to take up a job far away from the reach of Chellamma. ‘Thanga Meengal’ is a coming-of-age story of an unfit father struggling to make ends meet, told through the eyes of his eight-year-old daughter. The film offers a critique of primary education in Tamil Nadu and makes poignant observations through social commentary.