Ayurvedic specialist P.R. Krishnakumar — The epitome of kindness, generosity

Outpourings of grief and reminiscences about the kindness and generosity that characterised P.R. Krishnakumar, educationist and Ayurvedic specialist, marked the day after his death due to COVID-19.

Friends and colleagues recalled instances of his care and concern for the poor and students, and his abiding interest in spirituality. His colleague K.G. Raveendran recalled how, once having met a hungry old man waiting for prasadam from the Dhanwanthari Temple on his Ayurveda hospital campus in Coimbatore, Krishnakumar ensured that he was fed immediately. And since then, he also arranged for free annadanam even in the evenings, apart from the lunch that was already being served.

Also read: Prime Minister Modi, leaders condole Krishnakumar’s death

Among educationists, industrialists, and doctors in his circle, Krishnakumar, who was also the founder of the AVP Research Foundation and Chancellor of the Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, is remembered as a person who was always helpful and was focused on values.

Under his leadership, the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited, expanded to new terrains of research, Ayurveda and allied services. While the AVP hospital campus in Coimbatore and the manufacturing facility at Kanjikode in Kerala were started by his father P.V. Rama Varier, Krishnakumar started an Ayurvedic college at Patanjalipuri at Mangarai in Coimbatore rural in 1978. Seven batches of students got trained in Ayurveda free of cost at the centre which functioned as per the gurukula model.

To give more focus on research in Ayurveda, the AVP Research Foundation was started in 2003. He has borne the tuition fees of so many needy students, says Premavathy Vijayan, Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Krishnakumar’s personal helper K. Gunasekaran, who has been with him over the last 30 years, recounts: “On his visits to Kerala, he used to ask the driver to halt in front of a petty shop where he used to order food. Seeing how the shop struggled with minimal facilities and utensils, he bought them a whole set of items.”

Phenomenal memory

Ramkumar Kutty, Krishnakumar’s nephew, recollects him as a man who barely made enemies. His memory was phenomenal as he could remember people whom he even met once. When the number of books he read grew beyond the size he could accommodate at home, they were moved to the library of the campus.

Ravi Sam, managing director of Adwaith Lakshmi Industries and Head of the CII southern region sub-committee for CSR, says: “He was such a helpful person and we saw him take AVP to new heights. Spiritual and political leaders would flock there for treatment.” he says.

“He was a man who had knowledge in different fields. He focused on value-based education and encouraged entrepreneurship among students,” says Ms. Vijayan, adding that the students were also very fond of him.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 1:33:11 PM |

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