‘Many have come into this world and many have gone, but it is people like Venkatraman who will be remembered’
V Venkatraman, ‘The Weekend Leader Person of the Year 2011’, was presented with the award and citation at a function held in VIT, Chennai, on Monday. G V Selvam, Vice President, VIT, Chennai, presented the award to Venkatraman, and urged the students to emulate the likes of Venkatraman in serving society.
“Venkatraman is a role model for the youth,” Selvam said, and commended The Weekend Leader for carrying stories on unsung heroes like him.
“Newspapers are full of stories on politics and cinema. You find few positive stories in the media. This kind of online magazine (like The Weekend Leader) has to be encouraged,” he said.
Turning a bit philosophical, Selvam said people knew their date of birth, but not their date of death. “Many have been born in this world and many have died. But who remains in public memory? It is people like Venkatraman,” he said to loud applause from the students.
Presentation of the Award: (From Left to Right) P C Vinoj Kumar, Editor, The Weekend Leader, Sam Rajappa, Consulting Editor, The Weekend Leader, G V Selvam, Vice President, VIT, Chennai, V Venkatraman, The Weekend Leader Person of the Year 2011, G Babu Jayakumar, Deputy Resident Editor, Tamil Nadu, The New Indian Express
A visibly moved Venkatraman thanked The Weekend Leader for the recognition bestowed on him for his service and recalled the days when he had gone hungry as a child.
He shared an incident when he was turned away from a wedding feast he had gone to without invitation. He urged the students to do their bit to help the poor, even by way of little contributions.
Prof Shankar Ganesan translated his speech from Tamil to English.
Anand Samuel, Pro Vice Chancellor, VIT University, Chennai said the university motivated its students to develop technologies that would benefit the poor. He said one such device that would alert subscribers on their mobiles the location of their route buses would be introduced soon.
G Babu Jayakumar, Deputy Resident Editor (Tamil Nadu) of The New Indian Express, special guest at the function, praised The Weekend Leader for doing positive stories from across the country, and sometimes even from other parts of the world. “The magazine has a global vision,” he said.
The Weekend Leader’s Honorary Director, Outreach, U Karunanidhi, an active Rotarian, said the stories in the website inspired him to do more for society. “This type of journalism itself is a service to society. I hope The Weekend Leader will continue its positive journalism in the future also and keep identifying people like Venkatraman to the world.”
P C Vinoj Kumar, Editor, The Weekend Leader, encouraged the students of VIT to turn social entrepreneurs and urged them to constantly think of ways to make a change in the lives of the poor and the lesser privileged in the country.
Sam Rajappa presenting memento to Kravmaga Sreeram
A panel discussion was also held on the occasion on the topic, “Towards better Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives.”
Panel members included five students from VIT - Tejaswi Agarwal, Bakshi Satpreet Singh, Abhinav Srivastava, Kritika, Boopathy - and two experts from the social sector, AJ Hariharan (Founder Secretary of Indian Community Welfare Organisation) and Marie Banu (Head, Communications, Centre for Social Initiative and Management). Prof. Sahasranaman moderated the discussion.
Earlier, Kalyani Rangarajan, Director, VIT Business School, Chennai, welcomed the gathering.
Selvam unveiled The Weekend Leader’s new logo, and Sam Rajappa, Consulting Editor of The Weekend Leader, presented a memento to Kravmaga Sreeram, who had designed the logo.
Sam Rajappa also distributed mementoes to the organizers, and panel members.
Prof. K T Rangamani proposed the vote of thanks. – TWL Bureau