KOZHIKODE: The fifth Social Service Award 2017, instituted by Samakalika Malayalam Vaarika of The New Indian Express Group, was presented to social activist V P Suhara of ‘Nisha’ at a function held at Alakapuri Hotel here on Saturday. The award carrying a plaque, a citation and a cash component of
Rs 1 lakh was presented to the winner by popular theatre artist and activist Nilambur Ayesha and cine actor Mamukkoya.“This award is for the hundreds of women living on the fringes of society and I dedicate it to the memory of people who have fought for the rights and freedom of women,” said Suhara. She also expressed her gratitude towards The New Indian Express Group and its publication Samakalika Malayalam Vaarika for honouring her with the award.
Nilambur Ayesha appreciated The New Indian Express Group and Samakalika Malayalam Vaarika for considering Suhara for the award. She said all the social activists and artists should dedicate themselves to spread the message of equality in society.Ayesha in the inaugural speech expressed her concerns over the vicious nature of society and the increase in violence against women. She reminded women are not inferior to men.
“A woman is not a slave and men are not their masters either. She is independent and strong. She is powerful and efficient to rule a country and not a mere instrument to satisfy the desires of men,” she said.
In his keynote address, Mamukkoya shared his concerns over the growing intolerance in society. “It is a frightening atmosphere where people who speak their mind are being killed. It is not right to settle ideological differences or difference of opinion through violence,” he said.
Mamukkoya exhorted the people to rise against the vicious forces who are out there to destroy the diversity and unity of the nation. “We should not fall easy prey to the preaching of some people or any organisation – be it a political party or a social institution or a religion. We should have our own views. We should discuss the differences of opinion and uphold the right views. Slaying the propagator of a particular ideology is not acceptable,” he said.
Mamukkoya also said neither are men nor women superior or inferior to each other. “Both the sexes are independent and should live on mutual terms,” he said.The award function was attended by dignitaries, activists, writers and men from different sphere of life. Samakalika Malayalam Vaarika Editor Saji James welcomed the audience. He said the firm has upheld its social responsibility and integrity by felicitating Suhara. Senior staff reporter of the publication P S Ramshad introduced the winner to the audience.
Kerala Sahitya Akademi vice-president Khadija Mumtaz and writer J Raghu shared the stage and delivered their felicitation speech.The New Indian Express Assistant General Manager M Chandrasekharan presented the memento to the guests. The New Indian Express Kerala Region Deputy General Manager Vishnukumar P delivered the valedictory speech.