P Kalayanasundaram

While many 'newsmakers' are catapulted to almost celebrity status overnight for doing hardly anything of acclaim, many others languish in the shadows despite living for others and helping change the lives of the underprivileged. Many of them remain mere footnotes to history, their extraordinary work almost snuffed out before the gale force of petty sensationalism that the world seems to find more 'interesting'. So here is an attempt to honour those who have done some extraordinary and selfless work in the society, bringing joy to hundreds of lives. This is a salute to the unsung heroes of 2012.

Among the people who've devoted their entire life to a social cause is P Kalayanasundaram from Tamil Nadu. This gold medallist librarian not only dedicated his life to the needy but also donated his salary, every single month for the 35 years that he was working. To make ends meet, the 60-year-old had no qualms about doing menial jobs. Even when his pension came through, he ensured it was put to a good use.

Around Tamil Nadu, he is known as 'Paalam' P Kalayanasundaram, the NGO he set up. Paalam in Tamil means a 'bridge'. Thus, the organization acts as a link between those who wish to donate and those who need the donations. Paalam receives the money, good, clothes etc from benefactors and passes them on to those who need it.

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