Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI: A silent procession was organised at Ayikudi, about 65 km from here, on Saturday evening as a mark of respect to Gerhard Fischer, former German Consul in Chennai and a Gandhi Peace prize awardee, who passed away recently.

Fischer served the German Army during the Second World War and as a prisoner of war he endured many hardships. Before taking up as a Consul in Chennai, he held various diplomatic positions in several countries.

During his tenure in India, he helped establish the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, and other premier enterprises. As recognition for his yeomen service towards the people affected with leprosy and polio, he was honoured by the Union Government with Gandhi Peace Award in 1997.

Many institutions for the care and treatment of leprosy were benefited by his untiring work.

He was an admirer of Amar Seva Sangam, Ayikudi, and other such non-governmental organisations in the service of the physically challenged.

He contributed funds for construction of caliper unit and buildings for vocational training and other activities at Amar Seva Sangam. He spent most of his lifetime in conducting lecturers all over Europe and raising funds for the institutions he was caring for in India.

In his condolence message, the former Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, R. Natarajan, narrated the selfless services of Gerhard Fischer.

The founder of Amar Seva Sangam, S. Ramakrishnan, its secretary, S. Sankara Raman, several physically challenged persons and the public participated in the procession.