I have often wondered about the virtue that is generosity and attempted to understand what must be the driving force that leads people to engage in acts of kindness and magnanimity.
Is it an inherent trait that a few are blessed with, or do they consciously develop this quality over a period of time towards those who are underprivileged and deprived of basic facilities?
Then there are the ones who come forward to lend a helping hand to others despite having never found support during their days of struggle and adversity.
Adversity can turn the best of us into cynical and bitter human beings, but it remarkably did not touch CK Narayana Panicker, a farmer from Feroke in Kozhikode who had to quit studies after being unable to even buy textbooks owing to severe financial shortcomings.
Today, the same man has come forward with a generous contribution of ₹40,000 that will facilitate the printing of textbooks for children studying at the government tribal lower primary (LP) school in Edamalakkudy village of Idukki district.
Titled Idamalakkudi Gothra Padavali, the book is written in the spoken language of the Muthuvan tribe using Malayalam script since the community doesn’t have one of its own.
Edamalakkudy is a remote tribal village, which also happens to house the only tribal gram panchayat in the state. However, the LP school didn’t have enough funds to print the manuscript of the textbook.
Their predicament was brought to public attention by Mathrubhumi, a local Malayalam daily, that published a report about the school’s financial inability and invited anyone who was willing, to help. The news ended up catching the attention of 89-year-old Panicker, who then went straight to the publication’s office to offer financial aid.
In a follow-up report by the daily, it was stated that the editorial staff has already received the amount from Panicker, which will be handed over to the LP school headmaster R Ravichandran.
The headmaster, on behalf of the children and the tribal community, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Panicker, as his contribution will now drive the education of the children.
This is not the first time Panicker has lent financial support to the needy, after learning about them through the news. According to Mathrubhumi, he has helped several cancer patients with financial difficulties in the past as well as a Varappuzha native whose tongue was bitten off by stray dogs.
We salute Narayana Panicker for his remarkable act of generosity and hope his selfless action inspires many others to do the same.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)