Mannathu Padmanabhan

A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Centenary of Bharata Kesari Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai, founder of Nair Service Society :

Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai (founder of Nair Service Society NSS)Issued by India

Issued on Jan 2, 1989

Design : This stamp is designed by India Security Press, the first day cover by Sankha Samanta and cancellation by Alka Sharma.

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Colour : Single Colour

Denomination : 60 Paise

Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Imported Un W/M Adh. Gr. coated calendered

Number Printed : 10,00,000

Number per issue sheet : 35

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printed : India Security Press

Name : Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai

Born on Jan 2, 1878 at Perunna, Changanacherry, Travancore, British India

Died on Feb 25, 1970 at Perunnai, Kerala, India

About : 

  • Mannathu Padmanabhan was born on 2nd January, 1878 in Perunna village in Central Travancore, part of today’s Kerala State. Initially he worked as a primary school teacher, later passing a special test which allowed him to practise as a lawyer in the Lower Criminal Courts.
  • His association with Kannan Menon, a school teacher in Changanacherry, led him to his life’s major work which was to rebuild the Nair community. On 31st October, 1914 the Nair Service Society was born with Mannam as he was affectionately called, as its Secretary.
  • Mannam revived and reshaped the old concept of village societies, the Karayogams, which practically set the tenor of family and village life. He himself manned the Central office at Perunna. Today 4241 Karoyogams are spread over Kerala with different tiers of the organisation leading up to the apex body of the NSS Head Office.
  • In 1924-25 the NSS persuaded the Travancore Government to enact the Nair Regulation which broke up the matriarchal joint family providing for paternal and maternal property to be divided among all the children. Mannam fought for social equality, the first phase being the Vaikom Satyagraha, demanding that public roads near the temple at Vaikom be opened to low caste Hindus. He supported the admission of low-caste Hindus into temples and was the Chairman of the Guruvayur Satyagraha, paving the way for the temple entry proclamation.
  • In 1950 he set up the Hindu Mandalam to draw together Hindus, rousing them to support the National Movement. He suffered imprisonment for his support. As the first president of the Travancore Devaswom Board he revitalised many temples which had almost ceased to function.
  • Starting with a single room school, the NSS today runs 120 schools and 22 colleges imparting academic, professional and technical education, thus institutionalising his work.
  • The NSS has worked to acquire land and rehabilitate 500 families from the Travancore area where the pressure on the land is acute. In industry it has set up the Mannam Sugar Mills in 1964. It has organised several cooperative societies and the NSS Medical Mission, the latter with seven hospitals to three of which an Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery Training School is attached.
  • In 1960 a gift of Rs. 5½ lakhs which he received was used to create a fund, called Mannam Nidhi, which is utilised to help provide free medical service to the poor and scholarships to the deserving. He received the Padma Bhushan award in 1966.
  • Mannathu Padmanabhan died on 25th February, 1970.
  • Material for text, courtesy: Nair Service Society, Changanacherry.

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