Governor R.S. Gavai inaugurated the golden jubilee celebrations of the Trivandrum Social Service Society (TSSS) here on Sunday.
Mr. Gavai said at the function that the activities of the society, the social action wing of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram, had evoked a sense of belonging among fishermen and other marginalised sections of society.
“Since its inception in 1960, the TSSS has been rendering remarkable contributions in the fields of poverty eradication and employment generation. Other areas of its activity include community health care and empowerment of women,” he said.
Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese Archbishop M. Susaipakiam presided over the function. Minister for Law M. Vijayakumar; Minister for Forest Benoy Viswom; Deputy Leader of the Opposition G. Karthikeyan; Kamaltai Gavai, wife of Mr. Gavai; Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese vicar-general Eugine H. Pereira; Fr. Antony Romance; Neyyattinkara diocese vicar-general G. Christudas; Celine Wilfred; and TSSS director Fr. Sabbas Ignatius were present.
Dr. Susaipakiam said his experience with the TSSS had taught him that only participatory development that recognises the needs and interests of the people could make a difference in society. He said the TSSS has conducted meaningful interventions in creating awareness of the importance of people's participation in and strengthening of the three-tier panchayat system.
“However, there are some people who are trying to give our interventions a communal connotation, which is wrong. We are willing to cooperate with any organisation or individual, across caste and religious barriers, who will work for the emancipation of our backward communities,” he said.
He said the TSSS had instituted an award in the name of its founder, Bishop Peter Bernard Pereira, for best social activist.
Mr. Vijayakumar said that by ensuring social security and social justice in the marginalised communities, the TSSS had become a model not just for society but also for the State government.
Earlier, Mr. Gavai and Mr. Vijayakumar planted a sapling on the premises of the venue, the Vellayambalam Animation Centre. Mr. Gavai also inaugurated the distribution of financial assistance under the golden jubilee education scheme and distribution of saplings under the Harithavanam scheme of the TSSS.