Noted social worker and Honorary Secretary of Amar Seva Sangam in Ayikudi in Tirunelveli district, S. Sankara Raman, was honoured with ‘The Rev. Dr. Paul Jesuraja S.J. Best Social Worker Award’ at a function held at St. Joseph’s College here on Thursday.

The award, carrying a citation and a purse of Rs. 10,000, was presented by the Rector of the college Rev. Fr. P. Susai.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor of Bharathidasan University M. Ponnavaikko highlighted Mr. Sankara Raman’s determination and strong will in striving for the cause of the disabled persons.

Through his hard work, he had proved that the differently-abled persons needed only empathy and not sympathy for leading their life with dignity.

Facilitating centre

Dr. Ponnavaikko also said that the University Grants Commission had sanctioned Rs. One crore for setting up a ‘Facilitating centre for differently-abled persons.’ The centre would impart training to the differently-abled persons, using special disability-specific teaching methodology.

The Vice-Chancellor appealed to the students of the college to emulate the path of selflessness shown by Mr. Sankara Raman.

Rev. Dr. Paul C. Jesuraja S.J. described Mr. Sankara Raman as an agent of social transformation.

Outstanding contribution

The award was presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the cause of the disabled persons.

In his acceptance address, Mr. Sankara Raman said that more than the disability, social exclusiveness of the disabled was a matter of serious concern in our country. Such discrimination was not found in developed countries.

Any different term, however negligible it be, was a pointer to the discrimination being meted out to the disabled in our country.

For instance, the Railway Department used the term ‘disabled person’ and not ‘disabled passenger,’ testifying to the discrimination or social exclusiveness. Mr. Sankara Raman urged the college students to strive for social inclusiveness of the disabled for achieving an overall development. Equal opportunities, uniform rights and dignity without any discrimination should be extended to the differently-abled.

The Rector of the college Rev. Fr. P. Susai; the Principal, Rev. R. Rajarathinam; former vice principal, G. Balakrishnan; the Director of Poornodhaya Trust, P. Kalaiarasi were among those who offered felicitations. The Reader of Department of Human Resource Management, M. J. I. Raj read out a report on the achievements of Mr. Sankara Raman.