The Rotary Club of Madras Vadapalani celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the Club’s Charter by organising a grand function at Hotel Hilton, Chennai today. Chartered on March 19, 1996, the Club honoured prominent people with awards for their humanitarian services and achievements in various fields.
Rotarian P.T. Prabhakar, former Rotary International Director, took part in the event as the Chief Guest, while Mr Mohammed Asif Ali, Dewan to Prince of Arcot participated as the Guest of Honour. President Rotarian G.V. Ramana, FCA and Secretary Rotarian Natarajan introduced the awardees and addressed the gathering.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Navukarasar Dr. So Sathyaseelan, a renowned scholar, orator and educationist who works tirelessly for the promotion of Tamil language and literature through his books, television programmes and lectures for the last five decades in India and abroad.
Dr Sathyaseelan was a school teacher, lecturer, college principal and lastly syndicate member of Bharathidasan University. For his efforts in promoting the Tamil language and literature, he was honoured with Kalaimamani Award, Adiseshayya Award, Raja Sir Muthiah Chettiar Award, and Abdul Kalam Award. He was recognised as sollin selvar and navukarasar by former chief ministers of the State: Dr. MGR, Dr. Karunanidhi and Dr. J. Jayalalitha.
Dr Sathyaseelan has released 18 albums of his speeches about Vallalar, Valluvar, Silabadikaram, and Kamba Ramanayam. He has delivered his speeches at more than 10,000 meetings and has written 14 books.
The Rotary Appreciation Awards were presented to Dr. R. Kaleeswaran, Mrs. Shalini Visakan, Ms. Soundarya Srinivasan, Mr. T.C. Morarji Desai and Ms. Kalaichelvi.
Dr Kaleeswaran was a communication and media expert with about 28 years of experience. He has received various awards for his short films depicting the lives of poor people. He was honoured by UNICEF for his short film “Karuvadu” that portrayed lives of fishermen. The Malaysian government gave an award for his film Puratchi Kavi Bharathidasan. Dr Kaleeswaran received Don Bosco Award for his film Thai Mannil. The film was about death victims of various communal clauses.
Doordarshan Kendra awarded him for his short film Subramania Siva (2002) and Dr. Ambedkar (2003). He has written several books and over 250 articles in leading weekly and monthly magazines. He served as Head of Department of Culture and Communication, and Visual Communication at Loyola College, Chennai.
Mrs. Shalini Visakan is a fashion designer, who designs adaptive clothes for the physically challenged persons. After marrying Mr. Visakan, a post-polio survivor, she realised the difficulties the physically challenged face in dressing themselves up. To find a solution, she enrolled herself in a fashion designing course, and has dedicated her life to designing adaptive clothes.
Ms. Soundarya Srinivasan is a filmmaker and social worker. She is the founder of Shishu Shakthi which works towards meeting educational and healthcare needs of underprivileged children. Mr. T.C. Morarji Desai is a professional social worker. He strives to improve lives of street children by protecting them from exploitation and educating them through his Turning Point Educational Trust. Ms. Kalaichelvai is a yoga instructor. She has dedicated her life to teaching free yoga classes for people of all age groups – from children to senior citizens.
The event also featured entertainment shows. Over 250 club members and guests attended the function.