Thank you Dr. Shankar. I am honoured to deliver the keynote address.
Good day to all who attend from different parts of the globe.
Have you heard about a mythical magnificent magic tree? Well! I will come to that shortly.
I understand that many of you who have associated yourselves with NMCT have gathered today to appreciate them and wish them good luck, when NMCT enters into its 35th year of intervention and engagement with the poor and the underprivileged, giving them chances to use their knowledge and skills to work for their well-being.
I am excited to meet all of you great people, the intellectuals, social activists, academicians, donors, corporate sectors and friends. Thank you for your good spirit to show yourself and say, “NMCT! We stand with you and we stand for your cause”
Let me tell you a story.
Manjula devi, a girl child of 12 years from a village near Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, was thrown out to the streets, along with her two younger sisters and her mother, a daily wage earner.
Her relatives deserted her and her family. Because her father died of HIV/AIDs.
Manjula devi was worried about her future and her sisters’ future. NMCT, the guardian angel, took them under its wings, gave them shelter and helped get their education.
Manjula Devi, while staying in Abhaya students shelter home, did her degree and got a job in a private company.
The real turning point in the story comes now. Manjula devi not only helped her own sisters for their education but visits Abhaya home, and help other students financially to find a life with respect and dignity. Some of you would have visited Abhaya Students Shelter Home.
This is the pattern, my dear friends! Helping people help themselves and help others.
Dear friends! now to the mythical magnificent magic tree.
I am personally connected with Dr. Shankar Narayanan, the founder Managing Trustee of NMCT for the past 34 years as a friend and collaborator. I am so proud to see the small seed that he sowed 34 years before has now grown as a gigantic big tree.
It is not just any ordinary tree. It is like ‘Kalpathru’ the magic tree, in Indian mythological context.
You aspire for anything the magical tree will provide. You ask NMCT anything, it gives. Because NMCT is a magnificent magical tree.
If the victims of disasters like Tsunami, Flood or COVID19 Pandemic rush for help, will NMCT provide? Of course, it will. Why? Because NMCT is a magnificent magic tree.
If the tribal and rural children, especially girl children, ask for a learning environment with safety, security, sanitation, will NMCT provide? Of course, it will. Why? Because NMCT is a magnificent magic tree.
If people living with HIV/AIDS, transgender and vulnerable people approach and ask for counselling and livelihood support, will NMCT provide? Of course, it will. Why? Because NMCT is a magnificent magic tree.
If the migrant workers, completely rooted out from their living environment, and search for solace, will NMCT provide? Of course, it will. Why? Because NMCT is a magnificent magic tree.
If the poor and the underprivileged yearn for a sustainable future, mending their energy needs while protecting people and planet, will NMCT provide? Of course, it will. Why? Because NMCT is a magnificent magic tree.
NMCT’s seven sectors, health, education, livelihood, disaster mitigation, ecology and environment, empowerment and joy and peace sectors have programmes to support these people. NMCT thus fulfil many of United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Finally, dear friends!
It is said that every organisation is an extension of an individual person or a single idea.
The quest and passion of Dr. Shankar Narayanan has motivated bunch of philanthropists, hundreds of staff (the back bone of NMCT) and thousands of disadvantaged people to take their fate in their hands and carve out their own story.
I hope that the magnificent magic tree grows bigger and bigger to help more and more people and that NMCT will move closer and closer towards the vision of Dr. Shankarnaryanan. Let us all continue to support him and NMCT in all possible ways, small and big.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the programme of 35th anniversary of NMCT, the magnificent magic tree.
(Keynote address on 13th Sep 2022 for NMCT’s 35th Foundation Day)