Seven community leaders feted by Kerala group for selfless social work


Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — Seven prominent Indian community leaders from the southern state of Kerala were honored at a colorful ceremony held at the Indian consulate premises. Consul General of India Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh gave away awards to them at a function, organized by Malayali Jeddah, a Jeddah-based community organization.

The awardees are K.P Mohammed Kutty, president of the Saudi chapter of Kerala Muslim Cultural Center and chairman of Haj cell of KMCC, Chemban Abbas, chairman of the Jeddah Haj Welfare Forum and leader of Indian Islahi Center and Overseas Indian Cultural Congress, V.K.A. Rauf, patron of Navodaya Cultural Forum, Salah Karadan, general secretary of the Jeddah chapter of Muslim Educational Society and former chairman of International Indian School Jeddah (IISJ), Hassan Siddique Babu, chairman of Jeddah Kondotty CH Center and vice president of Global Islamic Foundation for the Blind, Thomas Mathew Vaidyan, official of the Jeddah chapter of World Malayali Federation, and Muhammad Ali Musliyarakath, one of the founders of the Saudi Indian Football Forum.

The awardees have been in the forefront of all community services for more than 35 years since their arrival in the Kingdom early 1980s. They have become true models of altruism with carving out a niche in selfless and dedicated social work and Haj voluntary services, benefitting hundreds of thousands of people, including Haj pilgrims, it was stated on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Consul General Sheikh, the chief guest, congratulated the awardees for their commitment, selfless and dedicated services, and hard work for the cause of the community welfare. “You are continuously working hard by dedicating your life, health and wealth to serve the community and this is a great inspiration for all of us and worth emulating by all others. The kind of energy, the kind of commitment and the kind of selflessness that you have been putting in are always admired and I hope that more such members, inspired by you, would come out to serve the community and the nation as well.”

The consul general appreciated the commendable voluntary services being rendered by the community members. “The consulate has to take care of the welfare of around 1.3 million Indians in the western region of Saudi Arabia apart from more than 170,000 Haj pilgrims. It is not possible for some 80 staff members of the consulate to perform this mammoth task by itself and in this respect, the kind of help and services being rendered by the community have enabled the consulate and the Haj mission to undertake its 24/7 mission in a very smooth and easier way,” he said.

Sheikh urged the community members to come forward to assist the consulate in carrying out its missions and tackle problems faced by the fellow countrymen. “The consulate is a home for you and a place for you to come at anytime for any kind of assistance that is required by the community members. If you are willing to help the community, then there are several means and ways to do this in terms of not only physical services but also through means of extending counseling services as well as through using social media without necessarily coming personally to the consulate,” he said, while appreciating the community for its position as one of the most law abiding, hard working and positive expatriate communities in the Kingdom. He also thanked Malayali Jeddah organization for the initiative of honoring the veteran social workers. On their part, the awardees thanked for the honor.

Deputy Consul General and Haj Consul Mohammed Shahid Alam, Consul (consular) Anand Kumar, Vice Consul Suresh Rao, and IISJ Managing Committee Chairman Adv. Shamsuddeen were among the dignitaries who attended the function. C.K. Shakir presided over the function in which Hifsu Rahman V.P gave introduction about the award winners while P.M. Mayinkutty of Malayalam News, member of the jury panel, briefed all on the selection process. K.M.I Mather, president of the Kerala Football Association, and Hassan Cheruppa of Saudi Gazette delivered felicitation speeches. Ahmed CM Akkode was the master of ceremony in the function in which Basheer Thottiyan welcomed the gathering and V.P Shiyas proposed the vote of thanks.

The function began with a patriotic song and came to a close with the national anthem. Those who participated in this included Shibila Basheer, Mumthas Abdurahman, Thushara Shihab, Sonia Varghees, Priya Riyas, Sona Stephen and Anusha. Sneha Aziz and Basma Basheer accompanied the guests to the dais. Abdul Haq and Mumthas Abdurahman mesmerized the gathering at the Gazal evening held on the occasion.