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Paarivallal Friends Association (PFA), Kuwait honored Mr. Mathi, with “Sevai chemmal” Award

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Paarivallal Friends Association (PFA), Kuwait honored Mr. Mathi, with “Sevai chemmal” Award

Paarivallal Friends Association (PFA), Kuwait honoured Mr. Mathi, Gen. Secretary, Indian Frontliners for his 25 years of social activities with “Sevai chemmal” Award in its 15th Year annual function held on 16th February 2020.

Paarivallal Friends Association, Kuwait conducts a function to distribute the welfare funds to the beneficiaries every year and this year the function was held at Sami V Landmarks hall, Aranthangi, Tamilnadu, India.

PFA President Mr. S. Chelladurai presides the function; PFA founder and General Secretary Dr. Sami P Venkat welcomed all and announced the various good deeds done by PFA and explained the social & charity work done by PFA.

In order to recognize the social activities doing by Mr. K Mathi for the past 25 years in Kuwait, PFA honoured him with “SEVAI SEMMAL” award and Mr. Mathi delivered the acceptance speech.

Mr. C. Jayabalan, MD – Kuwait Grand Udhayam catering, Aranthangi Traders Association President Mr. A. Varatharajan, Aranthangi Social Association coordinator Mr. T. Kumaresan, Aranthangi Rotary Club President Mr. K. Sureshkumar, Aranthangi Port city Rotary Club President Dr. N. Vijay and other local Social Activists graced the occasion as special guest and distributed the welfare fund to the beneficiaries. Welfare fund was handed over directly to 25 families and the total value of the fund distributed this year was 5 Lakhs Rupees.

PFA members, local VIPs and beneficiaries are all presented in the event and the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Srinivasan, Advisor - Sami V Trust.

Mr. K. Venkata Mathi – A Life dedicated to Service

Khalil Gibran wrote “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy”. Mr. Keerani Venkata Mathi, General Secretary, Indian Frontliners, Kuwait is one such person for whom life is all service. Mathi, as he is popularly known, has spent more than 25 years in Kuwait and thousands of Indians who benefited from his service and assistance at the crucial time their life, will be eternally thankful for his presence in Kuwait.

Many expatriates, in a foreign land far away from native place, go through patches of difficult situation ranging from poverty, sickness, ill treatment to family & legal problems at various times during their stay. Many of us, on seeing a poor or sick person or an ill-treated servant or someone in a distress situation, may feel pity and empathise with them. However, true compassion means not only feeling others pain but also being moved to help others. Mr. Mathi is one such person whose natural instinct is to swing into action to extend a helping hand in whatever way possible.

The achievement of Mr. Mathi is all the more astounding as, hailing from a simple family in the Village Keerani (near Devakottai in Tamil Nadu), his own financial resources were very limited. But, as it is said, “You give but little when you give your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”. Mr. Mathi has wholeheartedly dedicated his life, energy and time to sought out and provide the needed assistance to others. He has travelled hundreds of kilometres across Kuwait at all weathers – peak of the summer, shivering cold winds, dust storms etc.,- just to solve the problems of others.

Mr. Mathi’s life of service to others initially started with a small circle. When he came to Kuwait he came across a number of cases of stranded Maids in distress, workers struck up in Kuwait without any money, sick people with no one to look after them, labourers at remote camps working under extremely trying conditions, workers with visa problem etc., These issues were caused by greedy people, unscrupulous employment agents, lack of knowledge of visa procedures, corrupt systems etc, and resolving them were beyond the capacity of any one individual. But Mr. Mathi acted in the way Mother Theresa advised to all “Do not wait for a leader; Do it alone – as a person to person; if you cannot feed hundred, feed one”.

It is natural that Mr. Mathi’s self-less service attracted many others with similar attitude. By becoming part of the Indian Frontliners, an organization founded by Mr. N.C. Mohandoss with a motive to help needy Indians in Kuwait, Mr. Mathi could raise the level & reach of the assistance that he could provide to those in distress situation. Mr. Mathi became an integral part of Indian Frontliners, starting as a common member he rose to Secretary (Labour wing) and is now functioning as the General Secretary of the organization. Mr. Mathi’s contribution was evident in the successful conduct of various functions by Frontliners organization.

Mr. Mathi had undertaken social service work even during his college days in India. Hence, the deeds of kindness were of a way of like for him, as if he was a boy scout. He has written letters on behalf of illiterate servants to their families in India; He has visited Hospitals to speak to those who did not had anybody in Kuwait to look after them and established channels of communication between them and the anxious families in remote corners of India; His visits were a psychological booster for the patients who were feeling depressed, alone and uncared; He also had carried out the sad task of arranging for the bodies of Indians who died without any relatives or friends in Kuwait to be sent to India after completing all the required legal formalities. In a few cases he had to arrange for the last rites and burial of the body in Kuwait itself. Every act of Mathi, whether small or big, touched the lives of many people.

Mr. Mathi had excellent talents that facilitated him to enlarge the scope of the Good Samaritan tasks that he was carrying on. He had been an excellent student with good oratorical skill and organisational abilities. He had been publishing a Student’s Newsletter every week in his college time. He was the Secretary of Students Tamil Literature club and had won many oratorical competitions. He had been the main speaker on behalf of students’ union in the college functions. He was the Joint secretary of Music & Drama club and is well versed in the finer aspects of arranging public functions and art performances. The leadership talents, ability to motivate others to work as a team for achieving a common purpose, inter-acting with people at various strata of the society, managing social funds etc., were evident even during his college days. The sincerity and honesty of his interventions and his negotiating skills enabled the settlement of many disputes amicably with the Kuwait sponsors for the benefit of the Indian labourer or maid in Kuwait.

Mr. Mathi was closely associated with the Indian Embaassy and became well versed in all the rules and regulations, both of Indian as well as Kuwait, concerning expatriates. The guidance that was provided by him and others under his co-ordination facilitated the smooth resolving of many ticklish procedural problems concerning Passports, Visa or Immigration. He has put in untiring efforts during the Amnesty periods announced by the Government of Kuwait and facilitated easy legal exit for innumerable number of visa offenders. Mr. Mathi was instrumental in assisting the officials of Indian Embassy to ensure the suspension of the death sentence of two Indians just three days before the scheduled date of execution in the year 2013. Recently Kuwait government suspended the death sentence to Indian National Mr. Arjunan who was in jail for a murder case; Mathi provided the necessary support for his family to approach the right channels and also helping them to mobilize some fund to pay blood money.

Mr. Mathi’s social service activities extend to India also. His helping hands work tirelessly without any pause with activities ranging from visits to Orphanages & Old-age homes to arranging mass marriage functions. Recently, he organized a reunion of the students of his college alma mater after 28 years and raised fund as donations from them for charitable cause.

Mathi has been rendering social service for decades and most of his assistances went un-recorded in the earlier days when there was no social media; no mobile phones with camera; However, we can be sure that it is etched permanently in the hearts and memories of those who were witness to his self-less service. As he considered that a person offering to help others should never add any burden in the process, he never allowed others to be troubled in any manner. In fact, he even used to carry his own water bottle, so that the others need not incur any cost for providing water to him. He kept detailed account of every penny that was collected and spent and thus enjoyed total confidence and trust of all.

Mr. Mathi’s immense contribution to the Indian Community over the years had been recognized at various levels. He has received the ‘Best Social Activist’ award from Indian Frontliners, Kuwait Tamil Sangam and Senthamil Kalai Mandram, Kuwait. As his service is extended to all persons without any discrimination, he was appropriately awarded the title ‘Samathuva Chemmal’ by Thaai mann Kalai Ilakkia Peravai. The significant contribution made by him in Kuwait was acknowledged in India by the ‘Annai Theresa Award’ conferred on him by Media 7 News Channel.

Despite all the awards, Mr. Mathi continues to be the simple and modest person that he has always been. He is a well-known and readily recognized figure among the Indian community in Kuwait. He is best known among the working class as the person to be approached whenever any assistance is required. He is easily approachable for everyone and attends to each request for assistance as if it were his own personal requirement. It is his simplicity, the smiling face, the pleasant and soothing demeanour that encourages even total strangers to approach him for help without any hesitation. As service is just a way-of-life for him, he modestly passes on all credits to his friends, the Embassy of India and the Indian diaspora in Kuwait who have been supporting all his efforts.

Mr. Mathi is an extraordinary person whose heart beats not just for him, but for others. Surely, there cannot be any better example than Mathi for any common person to follow.

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