Muthoot Group Displays the Power of Giving Back

Kochi: For almost three decades, this celebrated percussionist cast a spell on connoisseurs and laymen alike and made them sway to the rhythms his magical fingers would conjure up during panchari melam at the world-famous Thrissur Pooram, the most colorful temple festival in Kerala’s religious calendar. For more than five-and-a-half decades, he did his best to keep the art of chenda melam alive and dear to our hearts. During the journey, many accolades came his way, including Kerala Government’s Pallavur Appu Marar Award.

In 2011, following severe illness, he was forced to keep his chenda down forever. It was a double whammy for the artist as he had to give up a passion that ruled his entire life and grapple with severe financial crisis also. When the family found the going really tough, one of Kerala’s oldest business houses offered a ray of hope in the form of a much-needed monthly pension. This is the story of K V Narayana Marar, whose life and contributions were celebrated by the Muthoot Group through ‘Sneha Sammanam’ – an initiative of its Corporate Social Responsibility arm.

Sneha Sammanam is one of the many things we are doing to make a difference in society and in the lives of people around us. Till date, we have supported around 30 artists who have made a mark in traditional art forms; be it writers, painters or those from the fields of Kathakali, Theatre, Ganamela, Katha Prasangam, Classical Music and other creative art forms. The financial assistance which is provided on a monthly basis does help the families and also encourages the younger generation to draw inspiration from veterans and to embrace these art forms whole-heartedly,’’ said Babu John Malayil, Head of CSR initiatives, Muthoot Group.

George Alexander Muthoot, Managing Director, Muthoot Group continues to be guided by the vision of the late M George Muthoot, Founder-Chairman, Banking, Muthoot Group, that “one should not let go of any opportunity to help the poor and the underprivileged.” It is this vision that leads George Alexander as he spearheads the life-changing charitable activities of Muthoot Group that span across education, healthcare, environment, sanitation, disaster relief and many more.

Snehashraya is another example of the profound impact the Muthoot Group has managed to make in the healthcare sector. Equipped with a mobile laboratory that can help detect kidney-related ailments in the early stages, the Group organises medical camps in economically backward areas to collect blood samples and conducts awareness sessions.

“About 100 to 130 people attend each camp and they are divided into A, B and C categories depending on medical test results. While people belonging to the A category are absolutely fine, people of B and C categories are advised to consult a doctor. Follow-up measures are taken after each camp to help people who are facing financial difficulties,” Babu John informs us.

Since its launch in February 2014, Snehashraya has organised around 650 camps, touching the lives of more than 72,000 people. Rechristened as ‘Anbin Nizhal’ while extending it to Tamil Nadu, the initiative is gaining momentum and wide acceptance there. Thousands of deserving patients have been given free dialysis through tie-ups with major hospitals in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The Muthoot Group attaches utmost importance to education of children belonging to rural areas, especially those from weaker sections of society. It was with this noble intention that the Muthoot M George Excellence Awards were instituted. The toppers of SSLC exams in government schools of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana are recognised through this initiative and presented with cash awards. “This is a huge motivating factor for these kids to do well in their studies. We keep in touch with the winners and monitor their academic pursuits. Needless to say, we are ready to sponsor the higher studies of deserving students,’’ Babu John points out. More than 3,300 cash awards have been given away till date and the total scholarship amount has already exceeded Rs. 1 crore. With the aim of touching more lives, the Muthoot Group also plans to extend most of its activities to the rest of the country. With the kind of impact the Muthoot Group is already making, one can’t help but wonder whether they have gone well beyond corporate social responsibility.