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Tributes paid to Ayyankali

By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, SEPT. 1. Family members and various social and cultural organisations paid tributes to the social reformer Ayyankali on his 139th birth anniversary here today.

Mr. Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, after garlanding the statue of Ayyankali at Vellayambalam, said that the Department of Post would issue a special stamp next year to mark the `jayanthi' celebrations. He demanded that the Government translate the biography of Ayyankali into English and Hindi.

The deputy speaker, Mr. N. Sundaran Nadar, said vested interests were dividing the Dalits and exploiting them for their benefits. He was inaugurating a commemorative meeting organised by the Dalit Congress at the Kumaraswamy Hall in the morning. The Dalit Congress leader, Mr. Kavalloor Madhu, presided.

Dalit organisations took out demonstrations to the Ayyankali statue here before offering tributes. The family members of Ayyankali led by Mr. C.V. Sanal Kumar, paid floral tributes at the Ayyankali statue in the morning. Mr. Kumar demanded that the SC/ST Development Department host a web site on Ayyankali so that posterity would have a clear notion about the invaluable contributions made by the great reformer.

Though the LDF Government had okayed a project to set up an Ayyankali Study and Research Centre, the project has made little progress. It is high time the Government initiated action to expedite the project. The laxity is proof of the Government's indifference to the Dalits and Backward Classes, Mr. Kumar said.

Mr. Girijatmajan, Mr. T.K. Aniyan and Mr. P. Kochuraman were among the family members who paid tributes. Members of the Cheramar Sanghom led by its president, Mr. Jagathy Raghavan, offered floral tributes at the statue. The Dalit Congress State president, Mr. Peroorkada Ravi, also paid tributes.

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