11th GARSHOM AWARDS: AWARDEES PROFILE
Garshom Pravasi Ratna 2016
Dr. FRANCIS CLEETUS
Dr. Francis Cleetus is a dynamic entrepreneur, a philanthropist and a good human at heart. He has provided employment to hundreds of malayalees and has been instrumental in spreading awareness about Kerala and its culture to people of other regions and cultures. He has been sincere in his attempts at reaching out and bringing out a transformation among his fellow Keralites. He is the Chairman & Managing Director of Abu Dhabi based NTS Group under which there are 16 companies in various segments. He has business interests in the fields of Education, Hospitality, Engineering, Service and HR in the UAE, India, China, Russia, Malaysia and other countries. He holds an MBA degree from University of Northern Virginia and has a Doctorate in Literature from Virginia University, USA.
Dr. Francis Cleetus currently the Chairman of Deepika (The first Malayalam Daily), Chairman & Managing Director – Theera Reshmi Magazine, Chairman, National Charitable Trust, Trivandrum, Governing Board Member – MARIAN College, Kuttikanam, Patron Governor – India Social & Cultural Centre, Abu Dhabi, Managing Director (Overseas) - C.S.I. Medical College Hospital, Karakonam, Patron – Hridayalaya (Sr. Citizen’s Research & Rehabilitation Centre), Trivandrum, Kerala.
He has received several prestigious awards and recognitions for his distinguished services and excellence in leadership and philanthropy. His wife Mrs. Catherine has been a motivating factor behind the successful business and humanitarian side of Dr. Cleetus. He is blessed with three children, daughter Ms. Clany Cleetus who is helping her father in business, son Mr. Clifford Cleetus pursuing his BBA and younger daughter Ms. Clincy Cleetus in her grade 12 in Emirates Future International Academy.
Garshom Pravasi Vanitha 2016
Mrs. Mani Menon is an epitome of service and charity. She is actively involved in several social service organizations focused on serving the needy in Malaysia. She has been at the forefront in providing humanitarian service to the terminally ill and the elderly.
She is currently the Ladies Chairperson of the Malacca Kerala Samajam. She was also a member of the organizing committee of All Malaysia Malayalee Associations (AMMA) for The Global Malayalee 2015 and the Ladies International Symposium. She is a committee member of Hospice Malaka that provides palliative care and emotional support to terminally ill patients.
Garshom Yuva Pravasi 2016
Dr. RAJESH KUMAR N. V
Dr. Rajesh Kumar is an exemplary scientist who contributed greatly towards the progress against cancer. He desires to slash cancer progression, extend and significantly improve the life of people impacted by cancer. While working as a faculty in the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA, Dr. Rajesh Kumar focused his efforts on pancreatic cancer, an extremely deadly disease, which killed approximately 330,000 people in 2012. Dr. Rajesh Kumar has made important discoveries which accelerated growth and propagation of modern scientific knowledge of cancer, and enabled medical advances against pancreatic cancer. He collaborated extensively with scientists in world’s premier pharmaceutical companies and top-ranked medical schools. His ingenious laboratory findings along with the synergistic effort of team members were specifically instrumental to the rapid clinical development and approval of the most efficacious treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer available to date by US FDA. The new therapy proved successful in significantly improving the overall survival and quality of life of pancreatic cancer patients in a large Phase III clinical trial which enrolled 861 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer from 11 countries in North America, Europe and Australia. At present, majority of the newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients around the globe use this regimen as a first-line treatment option. Dr. Rajesh Kumar is also renowned for reporting the first clinical confirmation of ‘Personalized Cancer Treatment’, based on the genetic makeup of patient’s cancer, resulting disease cure of a metastatic pancreatic cancer patient, who later lived cancer symptom free for over four years. He is also credited for the seminal discovery of a protein present on the surface of cancer stem cells, but not on normal pancreatic cancer cells. Cancer stem cells are responsible for tumor initiation, deadly metastasis and cancer reappearance in cancer patients. These cells are fundamentally immortal, divide relentlessly and are resistant to conventional chemo-radiation therapy. His team identified a targetable ‘achilles heel’ in pancreatic cancer stem cells,which fueled the development of cancer stem cell targeted therapies.
Dr. Rajesh Kumar’s path breaking works opened up a new era in cancer research and his publications are cited widely by global scientific community. His recent scientific findings have been published in five of the top ten ranked cancer journals in the world (Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer Research). During his post-doctoral years in University of Illinois, Chicago, he has made key discoveries to enhance tumor specific drug delivery, leading to the higher efficacy of anti-cancer drugs (Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, and Prostate). For these novel findings, he has been honored with awards from ‘World Endothelin Society’ and ‘American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics’.
Dr. Rajesh Kumar authored over 50 International Publications and gave over 60 Presentations in International Conferences. Due to the novelty and high clinical relevance, his work has been consistently highlighted by ‘American Association for Cancer Research’. Presently, he is working at Intrexon Corporation, Germantown, Maryland as Senior Manager in the Human Therapeutics Division. He is also serving as an expert in the manuscript peer-review panel of over one dozen international journals as well as a panel member in the ‘US Army Medical Research and Material Command’ cancer research programs.
Hailing from Maliankara, the northernmost village of Ernakulam District, and born as the elder son of Mr. Neelimmathara Valsan, retired Subedar of Indian Army and Mrs.Anandakumari Pullarkat, Dr. Rajesh Kumar had his entire education in Kerala. He had his schooling in his own native village and college studies in SNM College, Maliankara and Christ College, Irinjalakuda. During college years, he has won medals in pole-vault in District and University Athletic Meets. He earned his Ph.D in Biochemistry from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam in 2002 under the guidance of Dr. Ramadasan Kuttan of Amala Cancer Research Center, Thrissur. He resides in Clarksburg, Maryland, USA with his wife Dr. Sheela Chellappan and daughters Vivian and Anisha. He is an active member of ‘Kerala Association of Greater Washington’ and ‘Kerala Cultural Society of Metropolitan Washington’.
Garshom Special Jury Award
SHIJO K. FRANCIS
Mr. Shijo K Francis has been a social activist trying his best to serve the society at large with his sincere efforts and intent. His activism goes beyond serving not only the malayalee community, but reaching out to a broader society that includes people of different languages and culture.
Mr. Shijo K Francis migrated to Bangalore, Karnataka in the year 1994 to begin his professional career in the aviation industry. He is a senior resource with India’s premier civil aircraft design and development organization, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. He was a founding member of an organization called Spandana. Spandana works closely with govt. agencies to define, plan and execute a comprehensive development plan encompassing all aspects to build a developed and socially responsible community. Mr. Shijo has served as Executive Committee Member, Secretary and President of Spandana. Spandana has made great contributions to the community work they are engaged in. He is also an active presence in the Kundalahalli Kerala Samajam, Bangalore. He was the Secretary of the association. The Samajam has been zealously promoting Kerala traditions, culture and its art forms in Bangalore. He is also the Hon. Secretary of KairaliKalavani, an association serving the malayalee staff of CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. He also holds the position of Hon. President of NAL Employees Co-operative Housing Society Ltd., a 51 year old organization that takes care of welfare measures and creation of affordable housing for the CSIR-NAL employees. This organisation under his leadership has envisioned to provide affordable housing to the low income group. Mr. Shijo envisions a world pravasi malayalee organization having its headquarters in Bangalore. He aims to get the community united under one umbrella organization that will raise a collective voice to the various needs and issues faced by pravasi malayalees.
He is married to Mrs. Shimmina Shijo and they are blessed with twins, Isaac and Isabel. While Isaac is pursuing his engineering in Christ University, Bangalore, Isabel is doing a triple major BA in Arts at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. Mr. Shijo Francis hailing from Kanjirappalli, Kottayam District.
Garshom Special Jury Award
Mr. Manoj Mavelikkara has been extending unmatched exemplary service for more than 23 years to the scores of NRIs based in Kuwait. Mr. Manoj is a social worker whose humanitarian works extend beyond Malayalees working in Kuwait. He is sought after by all Indian expatriates for his yeoman service to the Indian community in Kuwait. He has helped bring back more than 1000 bodies of Indians who’ve died under various circumstances in Kuwait. It is he who every Indian in Kuwait reaches out to if dead body is to be sent back home.
Mr. Manoj is also active in organizing Indian cultural events in Kuwait. He is a musician himself trained in Mridangam and Morsing which is a wind percussion instrument played as an accompaniment for carnatic performances. He has accompanied several musicians in their performances playing the Morsing in India and abroad.
He is employed with the Ministry of Energy, Kuwait. He is married to Suma and has a daughter Keerthana and a son Karthik.
Garshom Best Malayalee Association 2016
MALAYALEE ASSOCIATION FOR ARTS & CULTURE- MAAC
The winner of Garshom Best Association award "Malayalee Association for Arts and Culture" (MAAC) was initiated in the year 2013 and has been working tirelessly with an intention to bring all malayalees in Hong Kong together and also to spread the Kerala culture and tradition to the new generation of Malayalees brought up in Hong Kong. The association has organized several cultural programmes and performances of Kerala art forms in Hong Kong to keep the malayalees there in touch with their roots and also introduce them as far as possible to the natives of Hong Kong. They are also conducting malayalam classes for the new generation of malayalees who don’t know their mother tongue.
MAAC also works in close coordination with the Indian Consulate to help out any Keralite who has been stranded in the country for any reason. They also try to be of help to Keralites who would want to know regarding visa migration to the country or any other legal issues with the local government. They have also done several charitable activities, even providing financial assistance to those in need in India through NGOs and other associations. Mr. K N Suresh was the founder Secretary of MAAC.
Garshom Awards 2016
Garshom Awards 2016
Garshom Awards 2016