Category Archives: Leaders

A professor becomes a successful caregiver for cancer patients


Prof. Ramani Tharayil has been able to empathize with the pain of the patients ever since she was the principal of Kottayam BCM College.

When she retired from service 17 years ago, she told her husband Dr. K. C. Joseph that she wanted to do something to help cancer patients during her retirement life. He did not raise any objection and she began her service.

Prof. Ramani created beautiful craftworks using the waste pieces of clothes from tailoring shops and sold them to her acquaintances.

Knowing her intention of charity, her friends and relatives accepted her idea with open heart. People flowed to her house at Kaniyamkudil near BCM  College, asking for the creative pieces she made. After 3 years her husband died, which turned her complete attention to tailoring.

More of her creations are useful for household purposes, like beautiful kitchen towels or fridge handle cover. The money collected from sales is handed over to the cancer palliative care units every month. All the craftworks are made of eco-friendly materials.

Prof. Ramani said that the sales have increased, since she started trying new designs and crafts from internet. “I feel the same happiness I used to feel as a principal, when my students win or maybe a lot more,” said Prof. Ramani.

Her daughter Priya Mohan, who is a computer science graduate from Calicut Regional Engineering College, offers full support for her mother’s endeavour..

Priya’s husband Mohan Thomas, who is an engineer, also support her activities.

source: / Mathrubhumi / Home> News / December 12th, 2017

Joseph Pulikunnel, church critic and reformer, cremated

Kottayam :

Joseph Pulikunnel (85), the renowned Christian social reformer and critic who advocated liberalism in church, was cremated at his residence in Hosanna Mount in Edamattom near Pala on Friday. The funeral pyre was lit by his grandchildren.

Hundreds of people arrived at Hosanna Mount to pay tribute to the person, who, all along his life, fought for the reformation of the church.

Representing the Syro Malabar church, major archbishop Mar George Alencherry and curia bishop Mar Sebastian Vaniyapurackal performed the prayer service. Bishops and priests of various church denominations also conducted prayer services.

Pulikunnel, a revolutionary, used to address issues related to marriages and funerals that got ensnared in the rules of the church.

When his wife Kochurani died in 2008, her body was cremated in his residential premises. In his will, he had written that he should also be cremated in his residential premises. He had also specified the funeral services to be carried out after his death and had distributed it in print among his relatives and friends.

Pulikunnel, who passed away at his residence on Thursday, is best known for his independent and scholarly views on the state of the established church in India.

His main concerns were on contemporary religious and social problems, including the plight of the poor and minority rights. He was also the founder member of Kerala Congress (M).

The newsletter Hosanna, started by Pulikunnel in 1975, was successfully brought out for over 40 years without any break.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kochi News / TNN / December 30th, 2017

Navy’s operational sea training organisation turns 25 years

C​hief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba ​delivering the keynote address at the silver jubilee seminar​ of Flag Officer Sea Training organisation. ​

Seminar today to mark the occasion will have 18 foreign delegates taking part

A two-day seminar on “Operational sea training and safety on board” got under way at the Southern Naval Command (SNC) here on Wednesday with the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, as the chief guest to mark the silver jubilee off the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) – an organisation within the Navy headquartered in Kochi and is responsible for the conduct of operational sea training of all Indian naval ships through its ‘work up’ teams located in Kochi, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam.

Operational sea training involves comprehensive training of a ship and its crew, to prepare it as a team to perform its full range of tasks during peace and war.

Vice Admiral A.R. Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the SNC, inaugurated the seminar, while Admiral Lanba delivered the keynote address. The first day of the seminar witnessed presentation of papers by speakers from the Indian Navy on the themes, “Combat efficiency through operational sea training” and “Promoting safety on board”.

The seminar will have an international flavour on Thursday with the participation of 18 overseas delegates, from Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Oman, UAE and Mauritius.

The Indian naval work-up team, headed by FOST, has been undertaking sea training service for not just the Indian Navy, but also for the Coast Guard and foreign navy ships since 1992. Over the past 25 years, the organisation has trained the crew of over 1,075 ships and submarines from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and friendly foreign countries. Training for 16 foreign ships and regular interaction with foreign navies/coast guards has helped exchange best practices, while strengthening bonds of maritime cooperation, a defence media release said.

source: / The Hindu / Home News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – December 20th, 2017

Malabar: It’s no giving up for footwear industry

Started in the 1980s, the footwear industry in the region is growing with new units emerging every year.

Representational Image

Kozhikode :

The footwear industry of the Malabar region registered a jump over the years with the annual cumulative turnover of the Kozhikode-based footwear companies alone crossing Rs 1,500 crore, according to the Kerala State Small Scale Industries Association. With 150 manufacturing units supported by 300 ancillary units and providing direct employment to 25,000 workers, the footwear sector has been a breadwinner for thousands of families. With many popular brands including VKC, Paragon, Lunar, Mark, Odyssia, Cubiz, Fisher, Hawalker and Jogger, the footwear sector of the state is strong and most of the players have their origins in Kozhikode, it was pointed out.

Confederation of Indian Footwear Industry vice-president V. Naushad, who is also the managing director of VKC group, told DC that Kozhikode is contributing a lion’s share of the state’s footwear production. “Unified efforts of the industry players helped in making significant growth over the years”, he said, adding that India could pose a challenge to China, the global footwear market leader, in a few years.

“The entrepreneurs here have been getting exposure to world class technologies and changing trends during the International Footwear Exhibitions that is organized often which attracts several players to the footwear industry”, he added.    Started in the 1980s, the footwear industry in the region is growing with new units emerging every year. The flagship footwear company of the region is the VKC group with an annual turnover of Rs 1,500 crore (approx.).

source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation> In other news / Deccan Chronicle / November 28th, 2017

Meet Anna Rajam Malhotra, who became the first woman IAS officer in 1950

At a time when most women’s dreams were limited to finding a good match for themselves, Anna Rajam Malhotra broke the stereotypes associated with a woman to become India’s first IAS officer. She also became the first woman to hold a secretarial post in the Central government.

Anna had to face many prejudices for being a woman, and people constantly doubted her capabilities. She was even mocked by her female colleagues for making this decision, and soon she made history.

Anna cracked her Civil Services examination back in 1950, and was requested by the panel to join either Foreign service or Central service despite her merit. However, Anna stood her ground and was given a secretarial post instead of district sub-collector by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Anna was not just good academically, she also excelled at rifle and pistol shooting, and horse-riding. She did not wish her capabilities to be questioned for any reason. However, she still faced discrimination and was allegedly asked to not get married during her service tenure. The rule, which was applicable only for women, was removed a few years later.

Anna was born on July 17, 1927, in a village in Kerala. She was brought up in Calicut and had completed her intermediate education at Providence Women’s College there. After completing her graduation from Malabar Christian University in Calicut, she went to Tamil Nadu to pursue her Masters in English Literature from University of Madras.

During her service, elephants entered into a village, and Anna was pressurised to pass an order to kill them. However, she did not want to kill a harmless animal. Hence, she decided to take intelligent measures to send these elephants back to the forest. She was successful, leaving everyone thoroughly impressed.

It was during Anna’s service that the first computerised contained port was built in Mumbai, known as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port. She also assisted Nehru in 1982 during the Asiad Conference. She travelled with Indira Gandhi to eight States to understand the food production pattern despite her ankles being broken.

source:  / / Home> Her Story> December 15th, 2017

‘Missile woman’ receives award

Tessy Thomas receiving the Dr. Pinnamaneni and Smt Seethadevi Foundation Award in Vijayawada on Saturday. | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

Advises students to draw inspiration from Abdul Kalam at a college here

‘Missile Woman of India’ and Director of Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) Tessy Thomas was presented the Dr Pinnamaneni and Smt. Seethadevi Foundation award here on Saturday. Foundation Managing Trustee C Nageswara Rao and trust member and daughter of Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao after whom the awarded is named, Ch Sudha, presented the award.

The Missile Woman now shares the award with distinguished scientists like A.P.J.Abdul Kalam— who was also her mentor, M.S.Swaminathan and Prof C.N.R. Rao.

Prof V Ramalingaswami and Sribhashyam Appalacharyalu were the first to be conferred the award in 1989. The other eminent persons who received the award include V Kurien, Lata Mangeshkar, S.P.Balasubramanyam, R.K Laxman, K.J.Jesudas, Karan Singh, B.G.Verghese, Ramanand Sagar, Sudha Murty, E.Sreedharan, Zakir Hussain, Y.V.Reddy and Changati Koteswara Rao.

The Gramapragathi Puraskaram was presented to the Swacha Sundara Challapalli Udyamam represented by doctor couple D R K Prasad and Padmavati.

Earlier the Missile woman spoke to the students of the V.R. Siddhartha Engineering College, Kanuru.

She asked the students to ensure a strong hold on the basics of engineering, mathematics and physics to be successful in any area.

Sharing her experiences of working along with former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the missile technologies, she urged the students to take Abdul Kalam as their role model and work hard for the overall growth of the nation.

She stressed on the need to be skilful in the latest technologies such as cloud computing, big data analytics, Internet of Things and cyber security as there were many opportunities across the nation in both public and private sectors.

Space technologies

Students were all charged up after listening to her talk and actively participated in the interaction that primarily centred around missile and space technologies.

President of the Siddhartha Academy N. Venkateswarulu, vice-president C. Nageswara Rao, Principal A.V. Ratna Prasad, CSE HoD V. Srinivasa Rao and heads of other departments M. Suneetha and PVRL Narasimham were present.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Vijayawada – December 16th, 2017

From a lecturer to Kerala’s first woman DGP, R Sreelekha’s rise to the top

Kerala’s senior IPS officer, R Sreelekha, has become the first woman in Kerala to become Director General of Police (DGP). She is renowned for bridging the gender gap and working for women empowerment.

Image Source: The Week

The police officer was accused of corruption, faced harassment and there were many efforts to pull her down. However, she did not let anything deter her spirit, and Sreelekha is now seen as a trendsetter.

She first shot into the limelight in 1987 when she became the first woman IPS officer of Kerala. Before joining the force as an IPS officer, she had earlier worked as a lecturer and was also employed with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Sreelekha was posted in Thrissur, Alappuzha, and Pathanamthitta as District Police Chief, following which she joined the CBI. She earned the epithet, ‘Raid Sreelekha’ for conducting many raids during her CBI stint, and was made Inspector General (IG) of crime branch.

She represented India in the United Nations to form protocols to combat women trafficking. She received police training in Scotland Yard.

Sreelekha has written nine books in Malayalam during her police stint, of which three are books on crime research, and included the perspective of an assassin and the sufferings of the victim. Despite her diverse responsibilities, Sreelekha always makes time for literature as her father is a professor, and reading had always been encouraged at home.

Before her latest appointment, Sreelekha worked as Additional Director General (ADG) of Police. Out of her eight contemporaries, she was one of the three to be appointed to the post at that time. She was also honoured with the President’s Award for her exemplary service.

Sreelekha was promoted along with her rival, Tomin J Thachankary, and appointed as Transport Commissioner. As Transport Commissioner, the number of road accidents has reduced, while awareness on road safety has increased.

source: / / Home> Her Story > Think Change India / December 14th, 2017

Elapully to house an MSV memorial

Plan to revitalise his ancestral house

Two years after musical legend M.S. Viswanathan passed away, a fitting memorial for him will come up at his native Elapully village in Palakkad district.

The memorial, comprising a cultural centre and larger-than-life statue of the musical genius, will come up close to the house where Viswanathan was born and spent his first eight years amidst poverty and misfortunes. The Department of Culture is also planning to revitalise the ancestral house that is in shambles now.

According to Culture Minister A.K. Balan, a memorial committee has already been constituted for early start of the work. The formal inauguration of the committee will be held on December 23 at a mega event when musical contributions of the genius will be recalled. The event, to be organised with the involvement of Vylopilly Samskrithi Bhavan and Swaralaya, will also have a musical nite titled ‘Hridayavahini’ that will feature songs composed by the musician.

The memorial will be completed by the end of December next year. “Viswanathan is Elapully’s illustrious son. He had elementary education in the local school here,’’ recalls C.P. Pramod, an office-bearer of the committee. During his life time, the music director and composer regularly visited the remote village that is located close to the Palakkad-Pollachi highway to remember his mother Narayanikutty.

Remembering mother

“Renovating the ancestral house was one of his long-cherished dreams,” recalls E. Jayachandran, another member of the committee.

His passion to renovate the house was because it symbolised the trials and tribulations his mother went through to bring him up.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Special Correspondent / Palakkad – December 05th, 2017

Thousands pay last respects to E Chandrashekaran Nair

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan pays homage to E Chandrasekharan Nair at M N Smarakam.

Thiruvananthapuram  :

Former minister and CPI leader E Chandrashekaran Nair who passed away on Wednesday was cremated with full state honours at Santhikavadom here on Friday.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former chief minister and administrative reforms commission chairman V S Achuthanandan and CPI national leader D Raja were among those leaders who paid their last respects to the departed leader on Friday.

His body was kept at M N Smarakom, the CPI headquarters in the morning for the public to pay homage and was later taken to his house at Pandit Colony in Kowdiar.

The chief minister and his cabinet colleagues had paid their last respects to the senior most Communist leader M N Smarakom. V S Achuthanandan and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had also reached the CPI headquarters in the morning.

At Santhikavadom, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, CPI leader D Raja, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran, state ministers V S Sunil Kumar, E Chandrasekharan, Ramachandran Kadannappalli and Mathew T Thomas and former ministers Benoy Viswom, Mullakkara Ratnakaran and M Vijayakumar were present.

According to the wish of the departed leader, no religious rituals were performed.

The body of E Chandrasekharan Nair was kept at the mortuary of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences since Wednesday as his son C Jayachandran had reached Thiruvananthapuram from the US only on Friday morning.

Thousands of CPI cadres and people from all walks of life had reached M N Smarakom and Santhikavadom to pay their last respects.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Thiruvananthapuram News / TNN / December 02nd, 2017

Kerala’s ‘Collector Bro’ Prasanth Nair will be private secretary to Tourism Minister KJ Alphons

Prasanth Nair, who was in the Kerala cadre of the 2007 IAS batch, earned public acclaim when he kickstarted a slew of popular initiatives after he took charge as the collector of Kozhikode.

N Prasanth. (Source: Facebook)

Prasanth Nair, the IAS officer who commanded a massive social media following during his days as the collector of Kozhikode district, has now been appointed as private secretary to the Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) KJ Alphons. His post will be that of deputy secretary with the minister for a period of five years. A DoPT circular issued on Monday said Nair can be relieved from his current post to take up the new assignment in New Delhi.

Nair, who was in the Kerala cadre of the 2007 IAS batch, earned public acclaim when he kickstarted a slew of popular initiatives after he took charge as the collector of Kozhikode. Programmes like Operation Sulaimani, a decentralized participatory project to address hunger in urban areas, Tere Mere Beach Mein, a project to tackle waste management at Kozhikode Beach, and Yo Appooppa, an attempt to improve the quality of life of the elderly, were runaway successes thanks to large and wholehearted participation of people of the city and beyond.

The ‘Collector Kozhikode’ Facebook page, that Nair himself handled during his term, was awash with compliments and praise for the young IAS officer. Nair’s call for public participation for small tasks like cleaning a dirty pond would elicit a huge response. He soon earned the moniker of ‘Collector Bro’.

In an earlier interview to, Nair had said, “Putting a post on Facebook takes just five minutes. Just because my profile picture keeps smiling at you 24×7, doesn’t mean that I’m sitting there throughout. Secondly, I’m not chatting with my girlfriends. The citizens are communicating with me and getting their problems sorted out through this medium. And finally, Facebook and Twitter are additional media for citizen interface.”

Earlier this year, Nair was transferred from Kozhikode to a new post as a secretary in the higher education department. Even though it was a promotion, it was largely seen as a ‘punishment’ for Nair’s tussles with local politicians in Kozhikode. But Nair went on leave instead.

The appointment of Nair as private secretary to KJ Alphons, who hails from Kerala, was being speculated for some time now. The appointment was reportedly delayed due to opposition from the state BJP leadership. Nair, in the past, has also served as secretary to then Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala.

source: / The Indian Express / Home> India / by Vishnu Varma / Kochi – November 28th, 2017