Unbelievable story of Palam Kalyanasundaram, the librarian who donated his complete salary every month, for 45 years
He is the first person in the world to spend the entire earnings of his life for a social cause. The librarian from Tamil Nadu, who chose to remain bachelor only to uplift the weaker section of the society. He had been donating his complete salary every month for more than 3 decades for the development of poor and needy. He has been doing odd jobs to meet his daily expenses and needs. After his retirement, he donated his entire pension of 10 lakh and 30 crores award money which he got from various organizations for the noble cause.
Palam Kalyanasundarm has been in social development work for more than 45 years and his devotion towards society has set a different concept of charity. Charity can also be defined in such way too! Well, one could barely think this before.
Palam Kalyanasundaram was born at Melakarivelamkulam in Tamil Nadu. He lost his father when he was only one year old and was raised by his mother alone. His mother was his guide and she was the one who has instilled in him, the sentiment of helping the poor. He was a college student then and one day he listened to Jawaharlal Nehru’s plea to contribute to defence fund during Indo-China war. He went to the then Chief Minister Kamaraj and offered him his gold chain and that might have been the beginning of his journey as a crusader.
He is a gold medallist in Library Science and also did his master’s in Literature. After his graduation he wanted to pursue his master’s in Tamil language. Since he was the only aspirant for the course, the college authority asked him to opt another subject for specialization. But he was determined and did not give up. Impressed with his dedication the founder of MTT College assured him admission in his college and also took care of his educational expenses.
Kalyanasundarm worked for social causes and helped the one in need for almost 45 years. But after his retirement he established an organization called ‘Palam‘, which works as a mediator between the needy and the donors. Palam helps the donors to reach out to the poor. It gathers money and other useful substances and distributes among the poor.
His service for humanity has brought him many awards and honour. He has been rewarded by many national and international organizations. In 2004, the Union Government rewarded him as the best librarian in India. He had also been selected as one of the top ten librarian of the world. He was also honoured as one of the ‘noblest of the world’ by The International Biographical Centre, Cambridge. Tamil superstar Rajnikanth was so moved by the dedication of Palam Kalyanasundaram towards the society, that he adopted Kalyanasundaram as his father.
The United Nations Organization adjudged Palam Kalyanasundaram as one of the ‘Outstanding People of the 20th Century’. An American organization chose him as the ‘Man of the Millennium’ and in 2011 Rotary Club of India conferred him on the Life Time of Service Award.