The Confederation of Tamilnadu Malayalee Associations (CTMA) on Sunday launched ‘Sandhwanam Nisswartham – Give a helping hand in an emergency’, a project to provide up to Rs. 25,000 to Malayalees residing in the State, in case of emergencies.
Those who wish to donate towards this cause can enlist themselves with CTMA. During a crisis, the organisation will send text messages asking members for their contribution, which could range anywhere from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500. Financial assistance will also be given to meet expenses of education, wedding or medical treatment. The scheme was launched on Sunday, the second day of Aavani Poovarangu 2012 organised by CTMA.
CTMA president M. Nanda Govind said over the last 14 years, the Aavani Poovarangu had grown into a festival that saw a fusion of Tamil and Malayalam cultures. He said that Tamil Nadu had welcomed Malayalees with open hands. On Saturday, Rs. 10,000 each was donated to 65 persons.
Noel Thomas, CEO of NORKA ROOTS, the field agency of the non-resident Keralites’ affairs department, urged private companies and firms to sponsor their workers for the insurance scheme implemented by the Kerala government wherein non-resident Malayalees, aged between 17 and 70, are covered for up to Rs. 2 lakh for three years.
T. Anandan of Chennai Tea Shop Owners Association handed over 160 application forms submitted by employees working in tea stalls. CTMA had been given the responsibility of collecting the completed application forms and handing them over to NORKA ROOTS, which will process them and send back ID cards.
Actor Jayaram appealed to the audience to donate to the Jayaram Cancer Foundation which supports patients at the Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. “Around 30 per cent of patients from Kanyakumari district who come to the Centre cannot avail treatment. The Foundation aims to support such patients,” he said.
Prizes were also given to winners of The Hindu’s pookkalam contest. The first prize went to Sojan Joseph and team that won a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and gift hampers. Sanila Jayaraj and team were first runners up and won a cash prize of Rs. 30,000 and a gift hamper. V. Jayakumar and team of Villivakkam Malayalee Samajam were second runners up and got Rs. 20,000 and gift hampers.
The V.P. Sidhan Memorial Drama Award was presented to theatre personality and actor Nilambur Ayesha, and CTMA Sahithya Puraskaaram went to author K.R. Meera. T. Gopalan Nair Memorial Social Service Awards were presented to Gopi Krishna of Nethrodaya, T. Janardhanan of Chetpet Medical Relief and Father Thomas of St. Joseph Hospice, Dindigul.
Among those who spoke include CTMA president of honour, M.P. Purushothaman, CTMA chairman Gokulam Gopalan, CTMA general secretary M.A. Salim, managing director of AVA Cholayil Health Care Pvt Ltd. Dr. A.V. Anoop and CEO of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. Arun Anand.