Mithraniketan's Viswanathan passes away
Noted social activist and director of Mitraniketan, the home of friends, Vishwanathan passed way on April 28. He was 86. Born in 1928 and educated at Viswabharati University in Kolkata, USA and Scandinavia, he founded Mitraniketan in Thuiruvananthapuram in 1956. He was inspired by Tagore and Gandhi. He started residential education programme for poor children and also imparted them training to connect with the nature and culture. He supported the Sewa Vibhag of the Sangh in Kerala by adopting many Vanvasi children for education.
A recipient of Padma Shri in 2009, Viswanathan’s name was synonymous with voluntary social action and he was widely recognised for his vision and commitment to the cause of socially marginalised people. He has to his credit several innovative interventions which were widely replicated. He was also the patron of Kerala Voluntary Action League, a network of non-governmental organisations. Today Mithraniketan is a centre of excellence in the field of bio-technology and rural developement. He created an atmosphere to develop education and research through community support.
Tribute to MV Devan
A highly respected critic of Art, MV Devan passed away on April 29 at the age of 86 at his home in Aluva, near Kochi. His contribution to the creative world as an artist, sculptor, writer and orator has been highly vibrant and reactive. This integrity saw him shooting off a legal notice to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Cultural Affairs Minister KC Joseph for prefixing ‘Dr’ before his name on a memento presented to him on November 1, last year at an event organised to honour stalwarts.
Born on January 15, 1928, Devan spent many years at Chennai getting training under KCS Panicker. Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury also moulded him as an art ambassador. It is this influence that saw Devan sowing seeds of concepts like the Kerala Kalapeedom in Kochi and Malayala Kalagramam in Mahe. He also played a role in establishing the Cholamandalam commune. “Devan’s best contribution is the culture and a sense of aesthetics he inculcated among Malayali art lovers. This gave many youngsters the courage to experiment,” said sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman. He was a regular visitor to Antharashtra Pustakolsavam, yearly event organised by Sangh swayamsevaks.
Chintukaka Lele no more
Chintaman Balkrishna Lele, the younger brother of senior journalist the late NB Lele, passed away in Jalgaon on April 24. He was 89. Born on August 26, 1925 he was among the first group of Sangh swayamsevak in Jalgaon. He was arrested in 1948 during first ban on RSS. He also lost his first government job at that time. He left Jalgaon in 1956 and worked with Government of India Printing Press in Nasik up to his retirement. In Nasik he contributed to the Kalyan Ashram, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Sangh work. After retirement he again came back to Jalgaon and continued the social work as an ideal swayamsevak. Because of his positive attitude and self-disciplined lifestyle he enjoyed his life to the fullest against all difficulties. At this age also he was keen to cast his vote as social responsibility. After he noticed that his name was missing from the voters list he filled up the form in person to get it listed.
Shivkumar Goel passes away
Noted Hindu journalist and writer Shivkumar Goel passed away on April 29 at his residence in Philkhua. He was 75. He was unwell for some time. His condition deteriorated on April 20 following heart attack. He was undergoing treatment at Yashoda Hospital of Ghaziabad. He started his journalism career from Hindusthan Samachar and then he worked for Panchjanya for long. He is author of more than 50 books on different topics. President of India had also felicitated him for his book, Himalaya Ke Prahari. He was also honoured with Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and many other Samman.