The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari has conferred the Sree Chithira Thirunal Award to Ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan served as India’s Permanent Representative in Vienna and Governor for India of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He was our Ambassador to Austria and Fiji and High Commissioner to Kenya. He has also served in various capacities in New Delhi, Washington, New York, Tokyo, Thimphu and Yangon.
Shri M. Hamid Ansari said since his superannuation, Ambassador Sreenivasan has become intensively involved in the public life in Kerala.
Sree Chithira Thirunal, the last Maharaja of the Princely State of Travancore, was an architect of modern day Kerala.
In 1932, Sree Chithira Thirunal carried out a set of Constitutional Reforms, – forming the first Bicameral Legislature and willingly agreed to reduce some of his political powers.
Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma enacted the now famous Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936, established the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937 and is credited with allocating a substantial share of the State’s revenue towards furthering education.
He oversaw the creation of several public services like road transport department, power generation projects and irrigation schemes.
He initiated several social reforms, including by codifying succession norms. Several progressive measures including those dealing with Hindu Widows Remarriage, Child Marriage Restraint, Suppression of Immoral Traffic, Maternity Benefits aimed at the betterment of women and children were also introduced by him.
He is also credited for the start of industrialization in the state by utilizing the local raw materials such as rubber, ceramics and minerals.
The foundation of Sree Chitra Art Gallery, which features a unique collection of traditional and contemporary Indian paintings, and Sri Swathi Thirunal Music Academy, since renamed as Sree Swathi Thirunal College of Music in 1962, bear witness to his passion for arts and music.
It is, therefore, befitting that this award, instituted in the name of an enlightened leader, is being conferred upon another bright son of Kerala.