The Erode-based SKM Group of Companies Chairman SKM Maeilanandhan was honoured with the Padma Shri award this year for his outstanding contribution in the field of social work.

“It is a great honour and the award encourages me to do more for the welfare of the society,” says Mr. Maeilanandhan, who has involved himself in social work for the past 30 years.

“Working for the people gives me fulfilment and peace” adds the chairman of Rs. 1,500-crore SKM group. He hails from an agrarian family.

The SKM Health and Mind Welfare Charity Trust, founded by Mr. Maeilanandhan in 1989, adopted two Dalit hamlets of Gandhi Nagar and Rajiv Nagar in Saminathapuram, 15 km from Erode, and supports the families for the past 15 years.

Mr. Maeilanandhan, who serves as the President of World Community Service Centre since 1996, has taken yoga and meditation to the rural masses. The centre implements a State-wide programme teaching yoga and meditation to residents of 15 village panchayats.

“We also provide value education to the rural people. This has helped them lead a peaceful life and stay away from alcohol, smoking and other bad habits. We are going to select one village each in every district next year and teach them yoga and meditation,” he says.