NEW YORK: America Tamil Sangam and Christian Tamil Church jointly organized a reception to Chennai-based Chairman of VGP Group of Companies Dr V G Santhosam, who is also the founder-president of VGP World Tamil Sangam, at a function held in the Church in Queens recently.
Dr Santhosam, a leading poet and a scholar in Tamil, has unveiled statues of Tamil savant Thiruvalluvar in ten cities of the world including Washington DC.
Dr Santhosam has penned more than 100,000 poems and lyrics in Tamil earning him the title Kavi Chakravarthy (King of Poems). He is also the patron of literature and arts. He has conducted international Tamil conferences in Australia, Malaysia, United States and Mauritius without any governmental support. He was bestowed with the highest state honor of the Tamil Nadu Government – Kalai Mamani – for his service to Tamils.
Welcoming the gathering Prakash M Swamy, president of America Tamil Sangam, said Dr Santhosam is known for his love for Tamil and has visited almost all the countries in the world to write travelogues. On the occasion of World Classical Tamil conference held in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu he prepared a 6 feet x 3.5 feet laminated acrylic book on Tirukkural with all its 1330 verses. It was mounted on a wooden platform. He donated it to the government at the end of the conference.
Santhosam spends most of his time spreading Tamil and promoting literature, arts, culture and heritage, he added.
Presiding over the function Rev Sundar Deva Prasad, parish priest of the Christian Tamil Church, said Dr Santhosam is a well-known evangelist who spreads the message of Christ all over besides devoting his time to promote Tamil.
In his address, Dr Santhosam said he has been visiting the US for the past 30 years and is now happy to see Tamils holding very high positions such as Judge of the US Court of Appeals Judge Sri Srinivasan and Pepsico CEO Indira Nooyi. Tamils have occupied pride of place in various professions such as medicine, law, academics, research, IT and now politics as well. He praised the Tamil parents living in the US for inculcating Tamil knowledge and culture to their children from a very young age so that they remain Tamils at heart though born in the US.
Hailing from a very poor family from a remote village in Tamil Nadu, Santhosam moved to Chennai with his brothers at a very young age and worked in tea shops, carried loads on head and distributed newspapers to eke out a living.
Despite abject poverty, the brothers led by late V G Pannerdass had confidence in themselves and now after 50 years, the conglomerate has real estate, amusement parks, beach resorts, building and construction, housing, super markets, tourism and travel, hospitality and consumer durable products.
America Tamil Sangam bestowed on him a title and a plaque – Ulaga Tamil Maa Mani (World Tamil leader) for his service to Tamils worldwide.
Josh Joseph, secretary of the Sangam, Koshy Oommen, vice president, executive committee members Jaya Sundaram, Shobha Ravi, Masilamani and V Sankaran spoke in praise of Dr Santhosam.