The young generation should learn about Sahodaran Ayyappan’s fight against social evils and the government will support all efforts in this direction, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. He was speaking after inaugurating the development works of the Sahodaran Ayyappan Memorial built at the reformer’s home at Cherai on Sunday.
Minister for Cultural Affairs K.C. Joseph said Rs.1.3 crore had been sanctioned for the development of the memorial. The Tourism Ministry had sanctioned the funds under the Muziris Heritage Conservation Scheme.
Sahodaran Ayyappan’s home and a small structure beside it that are under the management of the State have been preserved as they were. The funds allotted would go to developing these structures. A museum narrating the life of Sahodaran Ayyappan would also come up at a memorial library present inside the complex.
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas said Ayyappan had been Sree Narayana Guru’s conscience-keeper. “His views were way ahead of his time. When MG Road in Kochi was being built, many people opposed building the road at its current width. Sahodaran Ayyappan had the vision to consider the needs of a growing city and he supported the call for a wide road,” he said.
The Chief Minister presented the first Sahodaran prize in journalism to P. Sujathan, political editor of Veekshanam daily. He praised Sujathan as a journalist with strong ideals. The award carries Rs.25,000 and a citation.