Ha’Bb’Y Onam To People Of God’s Own Country!: A home away from home in Telangana

Ha’Bb’Y Onam To People Of God’s Own Country!: A home away from home in Telangana

Hyderabad: Around 150 to 200 years ago, Gopala Menon, also known as Gopalan Payyanadan, from Tellicherry in northern Kerala, embarked on a journey to...

Hyderabad: Around 150 to 200 years ago, Gopala Menon, also known as Gopalan Payyanadan, from Tellicherry in northern Kerala, embarked on a journey to Hyderabad alongside his family aboard a bullock cart, seeking a means of sustenance. Subsequently, Menon and his nephew, Janardhan, established the Rose Biscuits Factory in Hyderabad, a name of great repute at that time. Presently, the family’s sixth generation continues to reside in Hyderabad. Prior to their settlement in the city, they were engaged in making bakery items in Kerala, says Ramakrishna, a retired engineer in Railways, who moved to Hyderabad in the late 1960s.

On the other hand, an Indian astronomer and president of the International Astronomical Union named Manali KallatVainuBappu played a key role in the establishment of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. His father, Manali KukuzhiBappu, was an astronomer at the Nizamiah Observatory in Hyderabad.

Over time, a significant number of individuals originating from Kerala have ventured into diverse fields, achieving positions as doctors, engineers, and scientists. Many Keralites have also contributed their talents to various sectors within Hyderabad, including railways, police, telecommunications, administration, and others.

Following the decline of the Nizam’s rule over the Hyderabad State, MullathKadingiVellodi was appointed as the Chief Minister of the Hyderabad State, says Ramakrishna, who also held the position of president in the Kerala Samajam, the oldest organisation catering to the Malayali community in Hyderabad. Notably, Narayanan, hailing from Kerala, assumed the role of the first general manager of the South-Central Railway (SCR) with its headquarters situated in Secunderabad.

Distinguished Malayalis like PattomThanupillai and KC Abraham have served as governors for the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, VBP Nair held the position of Director General of Police (DGP) in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

Other prominent persons who played a pioneering role in administration include special chief secretary Sathi Nair, former political secretary Anil Kumar Kutty, principal secretary of Women and Child Welfare department Minnie Mathews, National Institute of Rural Development deputy director general CK Mathew, chief electoral officer M Narayan Rao, former chief secretaries GR Nair, BN Raman and others, says Dr EJ Varghese Lawrence, president of the Telangana Malayalee Association.

The first association, Kerala Samajam, was formed in 1960 at Mettuguda in Hyderabad. Along with Kerala Samajam, there are nearly 45 cultural organisations in the city catering to the needs of the Malyalee community. All Malayalee associations are under a single umbrella organisation known as the Confederation of Telugu Region Malayalee Association (CTRMA).

The NaveenaSamskarika Kala Kendram (NSKK), an organisation based in Hyderabad, has successfully marked 50 years of dedicatedly advancing the art and culture of Malayalis among Keralites living outside the State.

The journey commenced in 1967, emerging from an inconspicuous reading room situated in Fathenagar near Balanagar in Hyderabad. NSKK’s initial vision was to evolve into a socio-cultural and educational institution committed to the promotion of Kerala’s rich art and culture. In a remarkably short span, around a decade later in 1978, NSKK embarked on its educational endeavours by establishing a school that welcomed an initial batch of 250 students.

A collective of 125 members from the Malayalee community joined hands together to establish 125 schools under the aegis of the Telangana Education Development Society, with Dr Libby Benjamin serving as the society’s president. “Our community made significant contributions in the field of nursing, education, health and other sectors. There are nearly five to six lakh Keralites residing in various parts of Telangana State including Hyderabad”, says Dr Libby Benjamin, president of CTRMA.

Kerala is widely acclaimed for its wellness industry, while Hyderabad also boasts its own array of Malayali health centres, with the Kairali Ayurvedic Centre standing out prominently among them.

A number of staff members at these centres have imbibed the tradition from their forebears and are diligently working to sustain its prosperity. Following the formation of the Telangana State in 2014, both regions have dedicated significant efforts towards enhancing their relationship and fostering greater cultural exchange between the two States. “Our Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has consistently stressed that Malyalis are integral to Telangana’s developmental path, and their contributions should be acknowledged,” states Dr MammidiHarikrishna, director of the Department of Culture and Language in Telangana.

Several initiatives were taken by the State’s Culture department which includes under the auspices of Malayalam Mission- Telangana chapter, efforts are being made to promote Malayalam language in Telangana.

The culture department in Telangana in association with Kerala government also undertakes programmes such as ‘Paithrukothsavam’ to promote heritage and cultural exchange between Telangana and Kerala. For the benefit of pilgrims from Telangana, a decision was taken recently by Telangana government to construct guest houses in Sabarimala exclusively for the devotees. In 2015, a foundation stone was laid for the construction of Kerala Bhavan on an acre of land in the city by former Chief Minister of Kerala, OomenChandy and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and the construction is still underway.

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