Paalam Kalyanasundaram is a social worker, librarian and philanthropist. He is the founder of NGO Paalam based in Adyar, Chennai.He was born in Melakaruvelangulam village, Nangunari taluk, Tirunelveli District. Kalyanasundaram donated the money he got from the sale of his ancestral property to the poor. Mr. Kalyanasudaramâ€™s life is an extraordinary example of personal giving â€“ he is possibly the first person in the world to have given away all this salary during his entire working life for social welfare, doing odd jobs to meet his meager daily needs.
A practicing Gandhian and a compassionate humanitarian, Mr. Kalyanasudaram has dedicated his life to improving the lives of those lees able to help themselves â€“ children, the poor and the needy.
A gold medalist in library science with a masterâ€™s degree in history and literature, Mr. Kalyanasudaram is an accomplished librarian by profession with a distinguished career spanning 35 years at the Kumarakurupara Arts College at Srivaiguntam in Thoothukdi District. He was acclaimed as â€œone of the Top Ten Librarians in the Worldâ€ and the Government of India bestowed upon him â€œThe Best Librarian in Indiaâ€ award.
After his retirement in 1998, Mr. Kalyanasudaram founded â€œPaalamâ€, a social welfare organization to serve as a bridge between donors and beneficiaries, collecting money and materials from those willing to donate and distributing them among the underprivileged.
Paalam is truly a bridge to the future, a future of hope and opportunities, for countless poor and needy. He has continued to live a simple life, giving everything away to charity, including his retirement benefits and whatever came his way. Mr. Kalyanasudaramâ€™s exceptional social service has won him many accolades.
The United Nations Organization has chosen him as â€œone of the outstanding people of the 20th Centuryâ€. An American Organization adjudged him as the â€œMan of the Millenniumâ€ with a prize money of Rs.30 crores which he promptly gave way to charity. And his selfless service so moved our own Superstar Rajnikanth that he adopted him as his father.
Honors and Recognition
In 2006 he was named president of the Indian Chapter of the International Refugees Organisation. In 2009 “Sevai Chemmal” honorary title was presented to him by eminent industrial A. C. Muthiah for outstanding contribution to of socio-economic development of the weaker sections.
He received the “Lifetime service award” by Rotary International’s District 3000 and the Bishop Rajakumar Memorial Teaching Popularisation Awards (for teaching values of giving and sharing) by St John’s International Residential School. He got the BAPASI Award for “best librarian” at the 35th Chennai Book Fair .A short film on his life has been directed by Subash Kaliyan.
The film on P. Kalyanasundaram was screened at the 2012 Norway Tamil Film Festival. Kalyanasudaram was presented the Exemplary Service to the Community Award by Rotary Club of Madras East on 12-12-2012 in Chennai city.
The Rotary Club of Madras East, RCME, in association with Niketana Welcome Home, as an expression of profound appreciation of his dedicated social service and in recognition of Shri Paalam Kalyanasudaramâ€™s outstanding contribution to philanthropy, confer upon him â€œThe Exemplary Service to the Community Award.
Rotary Club of Madras East, in 2009, decided to recognize the efforts and dedication of noble people in this world who have displayed a sense of commitment and dedication in providing exemplary service to the society.