Thomas Mathew Kadavil, a prominent humanitarian from the Indian state of Kerala, was the recipient of the “Outstanding social and volunteering service” award instituted by the Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited (Media One TV) for the best social worker in Kuwait.
A well desserved award after more than two decades of selfless hard work. He was felicitated by Babu Moopan, the M D of Nippon Toyota, Kerala during “Pravasalokam” at Sharjah Cricket stadium, attended by thousands of people. He was the only person who won from Kuwait and this was the first time an award was given to people from the Gulf countries who are involved in social activities. With modesty, he accepted the honor that the award entails.
This award reflects to a large degree the human well-being issues that many people are concerned about, and encourages such endeavors by recognizing people and organizations that uplift society. Thomas Kadavil is a source of inspiration to others through his commitment to social activism and justice for the Indian community in Kuwait. He has always been personally active in social work; it is in his blood to help the poor and needy, he says, hence he was involved in a lot of social work right in India. He returned to Kuwait in 1993 after the invasion and joined the Kerala Art Lovers Association (KALA) Kuwait in 1999.
An opportunity arose to help people while working as a coordinator for the TV show, ‘Pravasalokam’, which features news stories on families looking for people who are missing and could not be traced. With the information provided by strangers who see his number onscreen, he was able to find 47 people and help them reunite despite their difficulties. He has also served the community as a mediator, taking care of issues and disputes bought forth by people who need someone’s help to resolve their problems.
It was through the process of helping others; he made a significant change in the way the Embassy dealt with dead bodies. While searching for one lady, he was directed to a mortuary where he noticed that many dead bodies lay were unclaimed.
He took it on as a duty to change the way the mortal remains were treated. Back then, there were no clear channels in the embassy to return the mortal remains to families. It took his constant persuasion to ensure the embassy implemented some procedures for the mortal remains to be returned.
Thanks to his efforts, there are open channels for the bodies to be identified and prepared to return to India and the embassy bears the cost. Barely a decade ago, it was a tedious task to collect money from charities, individuals and organizations to help send dead bodies back to their families.
His constant persuasion and convincing led the embassy to understand the importance of his work, and it is a commendable achievement, because for the last six to seven years, he was able to get the embassy’s help in making sure families in India could bury their loved ones.
Other remarkable achievements include his constant assistance to people who are in need. His phone number is available so people can call at any time and make a request. Moreover, his efforts have resulted in the establishment of a good shelter for domestic workers and other destitute women.