Dr Sethu Kumanan hails from the rural hamlet Kandaramanickam, Sivagangai District. He is the son of a very great and humane teacher Mr K R Sethu, who is a legend on his own.
He graduated from Raja Duraisingam Memorial College affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University and pursued higher studies in Annamalai University.
He has a passion for teaching and he is a true educationist.
He has received innumerable awards, which include: Soka University Highest Honorary Award by Soka University, Japan, Soka University degree of Doctor, Honoris Causa,The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature (Litt.D) issued by the World Academy of Arts & Culture issued at the XVII World Congress of Poets in Seoul, Korea, Soka Gakuen Award of Highest Honour by Soka Gakuen, Japan.
The Soka University Award
of Education And Culture by Soka University Student & University Student Union, Michael Madhusudan Award – Best Honour for Noble Creation by Michael Madhusudan Academy, Calcutta, Rashtriya Rattan Award by Global Economic Council, New Delhi, Ramachandran-Ikeda Award by The Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in appreciation of the work and daring experiments in education – with a cash award of Rs. 50,000/-, Vallal Pandithurai Virudhu – Best Educationist Award by Murugalayam (Regd.)during the 23rd Anniversary in commemoration of 135th Anniversary of Vallal Pandithurai, the prestigious “Seva Rathna Award” by the World Friendship Council-Voluntary Social Service Organization, for his service to humanity through education and the Maxim Gorky Award presented by the Indo-Russian, International Arts & Science Association for Life Time contribution to Education.
He is a passionate writer. Our former President Dr A.P.J. Abdulkalamji has appreciated him personally for his collection of poems written in Tamil.
He has written many books including Malaysia Manimakudam, Idayathul Israel, Masakthi Ikeda, Mexicovil Tamil Kavidaigal and Petra – A travelogue of the trip to Jordan – A compilation of photographs.
He has infinite talents in the film media and he had produced many short films like “Veeramangai Velunachiar”, a film on the brave historical women, “Ellaiyilla Paarvai” – Vision beyond boundaries.
These films had the vision to create values in the younger generation. The short film titled “Kadavulai Kandaen “– Saw the Almighty – a real story of Sethu Bhaskara School student, “Bimbam” -to highlight the value of parents and the need to take care of them in their old age and the film titled “Kalviyin Kaimaru”-to inculcate the humane quality of compassion in the mind of every one are some of his exemplary works and masterpieces.
Dr Sethu Kumanan holds the prestigious post of the Honorary Senate Member, Middle East University, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. He is the Editor & Publisher Iniya Ikeda ( An International Magazine) and the Managing Trustee, Village Community Hall – Sri Manickanachi Amman Marriage Hall, Kandramanickam, Sivagangai Dist.
He has visited many countries and participated in the International Poets Conference. They are Turkey, Israel, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Finland, Slovakia, S. Korea, Mexico, Greece, Romania, U.S.A, Switzerland, Australia, Mongolia and Hungary. He has visited more than 60 countries encompassing all the continents and far-flung areas like the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the world.
Dr Sethu Kumanan – A portrait of words of deeds
Father is a teacher, Dr Sethu Kumanan had a strong desire to become a teacher himself. Working as a teacher in a private school did not quench his thirst. He aspired to achieve something significant in the field of education. With the moral and financial support of his maternal uncle and father-in-law Mr Sethu Bhaskaran, he started a school in 1988 under the banner “Sethu Bhaskara Matriculation Higher Secondary School” at Pudur, Ambattur, Chennai 600 053 with just eight students. The school has now grown up with the guidance and support of numerous well-wishers to the extent of producing state ranks. The school strength is now nearly 8000.
The school imparts value-based education to children, who are mostly first generation school-goers. Hailing from an economically backward family, Dr Sethu Kumanan could appreciate how financial stringency could hinder the academic progress of an individual. Sethu Bhaskara MHS school offers concessions within its means and occasionally beyond, to the needy, so as not to deprive a child of knowledge just for want of money.
In Sethu Bhaskara, apart from offering free education and fee concessions to the wards of our staff, the school tries to extend the facility to other students also – parentless, fatherless, financially backward and on medical grounds. Around 248 students enjoy free education. These students and the visually- challenged will come under the banner Dr Ikeda School Students. The meritorious students – proficient in academics as well as sports are given free education to encourage them and to motivate other students.
Sethu Bhaskara School enjoys the pride of being the first English Medium School in India to launch Integrated Education for the visually-challenged children. The School Management willingly and happily bears the responsibility of providing free education, transport, uniform, etc to the twenty-two visually-challenged students who are covered by this scheme.
The most striking part of this scheme is the mingling of these students with the students in the general stream, by which they attend classes along with the normal children in the regular classrooms. As these children are able to mingle with other students, they gain the confidence that they can cope up with the peers who have normal vision.
Dr Sethu Kumanan strongly believes that it is not enough just to sympathise with the visually-challenged. Instead, we should see what best can be done for them. That is the reason why all efforts have been taken to initiate to help the visually-challenged enjoy their rights to live happily as others do, by giving them education, which is like eyes to every human being.
Having struggled for fetching a job for himself and watching the plight of the village boys, Dr Sethu Kumanan started an Industrial Training Center in his native village Kandramanickam in the year 1997 “ Sethu Bhaskara I.T.C.” with an aim to make them capable bread-winners. The students are trained in different fields – Fitter, Wireman and Electrician. Around 300 students have successfully completed the course and are now comfortably placed locally and abroad. He has also started Sethu Irani Matric.Hr.Sec.School in the year 1998 to impart education to students in his native village. More than 500 students are studying.
Taken up by the viewpoint of the great Japanese philosopher Dr.Daisaku Ikeda, an enthusiastic educationist and ardent follower of Gandhian principles, Dr Sethu Kumanan decided to follow his path. Dr.Ikeda, his mentor, fervently believes in educating the people of the rural area and in the empowerment of women. His adoration for this noble personality leads to the founding of a college exclusively for women, an institution to cater to the educational needs of the rural women in the name of the renowned educationist “ Soka Ikeda College of Arts and Science for Women, Chennai 600 099 in the year 2000. Rightly as the banner specifies, the college imparts value-based education.
It is a matter of pride that our college has been identified as the “Institution of Excellence” by the National Advisory Committee of Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, New Delhi for the services in the field of women’s education and empowerment.
The Father of our Nation has said, Agriculture is the backbone of our nation. However, it is disheartening to see that agriculture is being denied prominence and fields are being transformed to plots for construction. With a vision to revive the interest of the younger generation in farming, he has started Sethu Bhaskara Agricultural College and Research Foundation at Visalayankottai, Karaikudi Taluk, very close to his native place, Kandramanickam, Sivagangai District
Dr Sethu Kumanan’s dreams are thus coming true by the Grace of God and the good wishes of countless well-wishers. There are yet many dreams of his to take shape, in the words of Robert Frost.
“And miles to go before I sleep And miles to go before I sleep”.
His service in the field of Education is tremendous. Pudur and Madhanangkuppam have found their place in the Indian map of education on account of Dr.Sethu Kumanan. A school that started with just eight students in the year 1988 has grown up in such a short span of time to touch a student strength of 8000. How has this been possible, if not for his hard work.
In today’s male-dominating society, where men wish to keep women under their control, here is a man who strives for women empowerment. Thanks to his noble vision, many girls of the rural area of Madhanangkuppam have become graduates and have been placed well in reputed organizations.
A great personality as he is with so many awards and accolade to his credit, the best feature of his character is his humility. It is this humbleness that makes him all the more a great personality.
A helping hand to the needy “hands that help are better than the lips that pray.
Dr Sethu Kumanan is a benevolent giver who is ready to help the needy. He has helped so many financially backward students in their education.
He is the Correspondent & Managing Trustee of the Sethu Valliammal Educational Trust which renders yeomen service to the society by running many educational institutions of repute, which include:
- Sethu Bhaskara Matric. Higher Secondary School (Recognised by Govt. of Tamilnadu), Pudur, Ambattur.
- Dr. Ikeda Karunayagam, Anna Nagar West, Chennai.
- Sethu Bhaskara Technical Institute, (Recognised by Govt. of India and Govt. of Tamil Nadu)Kandramanickam, Sivaganga Dist.
- Soka Ikeda College of Arts &Science for Women (Affiliated to Madras University), Madhanangkuppam, Chennai 600 099.
- Sethu Irani Matriculation School, Kandramanickam.
- Sethu Bhasakara Agricultural College and Research Foundation, Visalayankottai, Karaikudi.