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LIFE SKETCH

A BRIEF LIFE SKETCH OF SRI. C. R. KESAVAN VAIDYAR



Sri C.R. Kesavan Vaidyar had a humble beginning as social worker. Then he became a famous Ayurvedic Physician , great industrialist , a well-known educationalist and a dedicated social reformer.
Kesavan was born to a poor family as the sixth child of Chullikkattu Raman and Kunzhilayichi of Kontatu village in Ramapuram in Meenachil taluk of Kottayam district, 26th August 1904. He began his education in the kutippallikkotam of Thenganaal Kesavapilla Aasan, his first teacher. He continued his education in the ‘Kalari’ of Pampanal Aasan and in other formal schools. He began his career as school master at Kudapalam Grand School. He had taught in other schools also. Later he studied Ayurveda. Thus he became ‘Kesavan vaidyar’.

Kesavan married Karthiani, daughter of Marangad Theruvakkattil Konthy and Paru, in1930.

He was lucky to become the disciple of Sree Narayana Guru and became very close to the Guru. The Guru inspired him to work for the welfare of the people who were the down-trodden and neglected in society because of caste-difference and due to birth in poor family conditions. As per the wishes of Sree Narayana Guru Kesavan led a simple life and helped others.

Later he became the disciple of Swami Ramananda, studied Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha, etc and began to treat patients. Thus he became ‘Kesavan vaidyar’.
He was awarded the "Vaidyaratnam" title by K.C. Manavikraman Zamorin of Kozhikode in 1953.
He was an active participant of historic, social reform movements such as Vaikom Satyagraha and Guruvayur Satyagraha.

His knowledge in Ayurvedic medicine helped him establish "Chandrika" herbal toilet soap.
In 1940 Sri Kesavan Vaidyar started manufacturing an ayurvedic soap called ‘Chandrika’, from a small town called Irinjalakuda in Kerala.
When he first made 'Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap', Ayurveda was not very well known or used in non-medicinal products.In the beginning Sri Kesavan Vaidyar travelled on foot or by bus carrying the wooden case all by himself. There were harsh times when he even travelled by holding onto the ladder on the back of the bus and slept outside shops waiting for them to open, so that he could sell his product to them.
Faith and belief in his creation, 'Chandrika Soap' gave him the courage to persist with it. His belief and persistence paid of when people who used it realised its value and goodness and came back asking for more. Once people discovered Chandrika, there was no turning back for him.
Sri. Kesavan Vaidyar went on to export Chandrika Soap to almost all the western, Middle Eastern and far eastern countries.
Using the income from the business Sri. Kesavan Vaidyar set up a number of institutions so that people who were not as fortunate as he was could benefit from his good fortune.
He established Lal Memorial Hospital, a charitable hospital so that the less fortunate could avail of basic medical services thatwere not available to them. He also established a nursing school to support this cause and to promote professional health care. He also established S.N. Teacher training Institute, S. N. Lower Primary school, S. N. High School, S. N. Higher Secondary School and a public library believing that Education would help people empower themselves.

He is survived by sons Dr. C.K. Ravi and Mr. C.K. Jinan and daughters Mrs. Leela, Mrs. Nalini and Mrs. Santha.
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( will continue  P. Sivadas.)

Sri. Kesavan Vaidyar has held various high positions. He has worked as SNDP Yogam President, Chandrika Educational Trust Chairman, S.N. Trust Director Board member, Kalamandalam Exeutive Committee member, Unnayi Warrier Kalanilayam President and Guruvayoor Temple Renovation Committee member, etc.The list is incomplete.
Sri. C. R. Kesavan Vaidyar passed away at his residence at Irinjalakkuda, Kerala, South India on the 6th of November, 1999 after prolonged illness. He was 95.

People from all walks of life have condoled the deatlh of Vaidyar. The then Chief Minister of Kerala Mr. E.K. Nayanar condoled the death of Vaidyar and described him as a model for everyone because he climbed up in life through his own effort and hardwork. Ministers and other dignitaries also condoled his death. . . . . . . . .