THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When retirement closes one door, it opens several others. For Bhuvanendran Channamkara, a flood of seminars and discussions was waiting when he retired from the KSRTC seven years ago. He spends his retirement life attending seminars and talk shows. Bhuvanendran is an integral part of every discussion, TV show and seminar taking place in and around Thiruvananthapuram. Recently, he even filed a case with the Human Rights Commission when he was denied permission to attend a function.
Sixty-two-year-old Bhuvanendran claims to have attended over 25,000 seminars and talk shows so far. He gets regular calls from various organisations and TV channels. If there isn’t any invitation, he would check the engagement column in newspapers and fix his plan. This has became his routine for the past seven years.
Last January, he was denied permission to attend the Kesavadev memorial award distribution ceremony. “One person, who claimed to be from the Intelligence Bureau, asked me not to enter the venue. He said I could be seen at every function and that I must go out. I showed him my ID card, but he didn’t allow me in. So, I approached the Human Rights Commission and the Legal Service Authority against this injustice,” says Bhuvanendran.
Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice J B Koshy asked for a police report, which cleared the suspicion around him. “Nobody has the right to prevent me from attending seminars and talks. I have got personal invitations for programmes even attended by the Vice-President of India. I am attending programmes to learn more and to express my views,” says Bhuvanendran. Some channels would pay for the shows, while others provide food. But Bhuvanendran is happy attending a programme even if he gets nothing from it.
And if you thought Bhuvanendran is the only person who has a passion for attending seminars, you are wrong. Bhuvanendran says that there are three more like him in the city.
Showing copies of the certificates he has received for attending workshops and seminars and newspaper clips, Bhuvanendran says that his interest is not limited to a particular topic. He does not want to miss a topic, be it science or politics. “Since I worked in the KSRTC, I am more interested in topics covering roads and accidents,” he says. As a retired KSRTC employee, Bhavanendran has a pass which enables him to travel without spending much.
So, how does his family react to his passion? ‘’Sometimes, my wife would ask me to stop roaming around. But that is because of my health issues. Otherwise, my wife and two children have no complaints,” says Bhuvanendran.
For organisers of seminars and discussions, Bhuvanendran is available at 0471-2414011.