Bangalore Feb 26: The Uthishtta Seva Puraskar was conferred on the Agasthyar Bala Samskara Kendra fraternity at a function in Bangalore yesterday. Ace cricketer Rahul Dravid handed over the award, which consisted of Rs 1 lakh in cash and a shield. The award was jointly received by Chellamma and Shobha, the two ladies who dedicated their lives for the noble cause and Ramachandran, Sewa Pramukh of Sewa Bharati, Neyyatinkara. The high light of the function was the sterling Kathakali performance by Padmasree Kalamandalam Gopi and his team.
Conferring the award, noted Cricketer Rahul Dravid spoke on the need for more such schemes for the benefit of the tribal folks. He said that those who worked selflessly for Agasthyar Bala Samskara Kendra have set an exemplary example for others to emulate. (Uthishtta seva Puraskar was conferred on the team for the selfless services done by team members towards the development of Kani tribals, especially in the field of education).
Following the bestowing of awards, the audience was given a cultural treat with the Kathakali performance by Kalamandalam Gopi and team. A patriarch of the rich classical art form, Kalamandalam Gopi enthralled the audience with Nalacharitham Nalam Divasam, depicting the Pauranic tale of Nala and damayanthi. He was accompanied by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Margi Vijayakumar. Following this was a performance by Kalamandalam Shanmukhadas, Kalamandalam Sucheendran and Kalamandalam Vijayakumar on Prahladacharitham, the life of Prahalada.
A note on Agasthyar Bala Samskara Kendra: tribals who dwell in the Kuttichal Panchayat of Trivandrum District, Kerala. Tucked away from regular settlement, the tribal folks are cut off from all amenities offered by city life. There is a total umber of 11 settlements, where members resort mainly to cultivation for a livelihood. As part of education for the younger generation, 4 teachers, who render pure voluntary service, stay there and take care of these children as their own family. As they pass Standard 4, Sewa Bharati has made provisions for children to continue their studies at Vellanadu Mitra Niketan.