Shri V.S. Sivakumar, Member of Legislative Assembly,

Shri K. Jayakumar IAS, Director, Institute of Management in Government,

Shri N. Sakthan, Former Speaker and Chief Patron, Abhijith Foundation,

Dr. George Onakkoor, Noted Writer,

Shri G. Sekharan Nair, Senior Journalist,

Father Mathew Thengumpally CMI, Former Principal, Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School,

Adv. G. Subodhan, Chairman, Abhijith Foundation,

Shri Kottukal Krishnakumar, Father of Abhijith and Patron, Abhijith Foundation,

Sahodaree Sahodaranmare,

Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram.


       It is with a sense of satisfaction that I address you after presenting the annual awards instituted by Abhijith Foundation.

       The occasion brings to one’s mind, the gravity of the loss suffered by the family of Abhijith, who was just 19 years old when a sudden viral attack claimed his life. At the same time,
I admire the decision of the family, especially Shri Kottukal Krishnakumar, to register a foundation in his memory and to recognize people whose contributions and selfless work have made a difference in society. It is commendable that along with family members of Abhijith, his friends and teachers in school are also active in the work of the Foundation.

       Let me therefore, begin by complimenting the office bearers of Abhijith Foundationfor instituting these awards and for the support they had been rendering to the underprivileged people suffering  from severe diseases and other burdens. It is commendable that the Foundation’s focus since 2015 has been on philanthropic activities including educational support to children, distribution of study materials and giving assistance for the marriage of girls from families in need of support.  I am informed that it was in 2017 that the Foundation instituted the awards to promote social service driven by empathy towards people who deserved help.

       I also congratulate all the awardees – Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, Smt. Aswathi Nair and the people behind Malayala Manorama’s Nalla Paadam- for receiving the awards today.  I hope the aid provided to Abhiram Shankar and the two organizations would encourage the recipients to do more for society in future.

       Mahatma Gandhibelieved that there was no task nobler than serving the poor and the needy.  And there is no better prayer to God than doing what little one can do to mitigate the suffering of others. I understand that the activities of all the three award winners of today, have been motivated by a deep concern for the plight of the poor and suffering people. Such acts of compassion emanating from genuine love and affection   deserve the wholehearted support of society.  It is laudable that one award has been set for the Media, since the cooperation of the Media is always essential to create awareness about the millions who need support in society.

       As we all know, the award for the best organization has been conferred on Pallium India, which, under Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, has been advocating Palliative care all over India by spreading palliative care facilities to areas in India where they did not exist. Since 2003, this movement could reach 15 States in India and the Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences has been a collaborating centre of World Health Organization. Undoubtedly, Pallium Indiais one of the greatest message of kindness and care bestowed on our nation by Kerala. I have the personal satisfaction of having invited him to Raj Bhavan and honoured him and his colleagues, when he was awarded Padma Shri.

       As a person hailing from the Judiciary, I have always regarded Law as the greatest weapon, which can be used to ensure human rights and dignity and to fight against injustice in society. I also believe that Law and lawyers have a duty to help to ensure human welfare and therefore, I feel very happy to know that today’s award for the best social worker has been won by Smt. Aswathy Nair, a student of Law.  Her gesture of giving packed meal, pothichoru, to the destitutes in Thiruvananthapuram was seen as the example of what each person could do to mitigate starvation in society. She did not wait for any help from anywhere, because she had the will to help poor people. So she started in her own little way, with the help of her mother, to feed as many people as she could. And, it kindled a real ‘Jwala’, the flame of kindness in society. I am glad to know that the non governmental agency, Jwala, which she founded, is now providing aid as well as livelihood to many people since 2012. It is laudable that she gets the full support of her husband and family in these activities.

          The role of the media in creating awareness about the positive and humanitarian activities of people, is well known. Kerala is one of the States with the highest media density and media penetration in India. In fact, nothing escapes the eyes and ears of the Media in Kerala.     They may often be criticized for being too fond of sensational news. However, it is comforting to know that many media-houses have earmarked time and news space for highlighting the positive developments in society.

       “Nalla Paadam”, which comes in Malayala Manorama daily and is visually supported by its Television channel, has been creating awareness among children in a big way. I am happy that this segment has moved into schools and mobilized children in over 8000 schools to create in them high levels of social awareness and responsibility. Significantly enough, it has encouraged students to help people Adivasi children in Wayanad district and to raise money through Karunya Kudukka. They even brought vegetables to help people in relief camps. And, as a person hailing from the farming community, I am so happy to see that this programme has also spotted the best child farmer.  It is therefore appropriate that this Foundation has chosen Nalla Paadam for the award. 

          Abhijith Foundation’swork of identifying and recognizing positive changes in society certainly deserves our appreciation. I would request the people who have won awards today to continue their good work so that more people benefit from their good gestures. I would also suggest that the media   programmes and segments like Nalla Paadam take up more vigorous campaigns in support of the causes which have been awarded today.    

       For instance, it is estimated that a hundred persons in a population of one lakh are affected by cancer every year and its incidence has been steadily increasing in Kerala.  This calls for increasing people's awareness about cancers of different kind. We also need to promote a healthy life style among children and elders. Our people also must learn to respect food and avoid wastage. And, environmental protection deserves utmost priority. I am certain that these are areas where programmes like Nalla Paadam can contribute greatly. 

          I hope more media houses will come forward to contribute more to improve social awareness in Kerala. In fact, the media in Kerala should begin to claim their lead not just in terms of only the number of copies sold or number of viewers or by the advertisement revenue collected. They should also measure their success in terms of the number of lives they could improve and the people they could help in society.  I hope the awards of Abhijith Foundation and similar organizations would encourage more such positive actions in society among voluntary agencies and media.

          I compliment the jury comprising Shri K. Jayakumar IAS, Shri George Onakkoor and Shri Sekharan Nair for making the right choices. I also compliment the organizers for conducting this function in a befitting manner. 


Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal


Jai Hind