K. Panoor, The first chairman of CHRO passess away.
Civic rights activist and the first chairman of CHRO, K. Panoor(Kunhiraman Panoor), passed away on 19-Feb-2018, Tuesday.
He was instrumental in establishing CHRO (Confederation of Human Rights Organizations) in 1997 along with Mukundan C Menon, as an effort to have a common platform for of individuals and organizations that have been fighting for the cause of human rights. CHRO was the forerunner of the NCHRO.
Kunhiraman Panoor, popularly known as K Panoor, began his career as an official in the revenue department which also gave him exposure to the tribal communities in Wayanad. This prompted him to write the book ‘Keralathile Africa’, portraying the life of the Adivasi community in Wayanad, and the exploitation they faced. Though the book created controversy leading to its ban, it was the first major work in Malayalam that brought to the fore the plight of the tribal community.
As a revenue department official, he had also taken many initiatives for the welfare of the community and he was at the forefront of setting up the trial colony in Kannavam. An author of many articles and books, which also included ‘Ha Naxalbari’ and ‘Keralathile America’, he was honoured by Kerala Sahithya Akademi in 2006, considering his comprehensive contribution to literature.
After his retirement as deputy collector, K Panoor had also served as the registrar of Malayala Kalagramam, started in New Mahe, which is a centre of art and culture, for almost 10 years.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who condoled his death, said Panoor was an eminent writer and activist who presented before the society the real picture of the plight of the Adivasi community. People from different walks of life came to his home to pay their homage. Cremation held near his house at Thekke Panur.
He is survived by wife Heera Bhai and children Hiran Kumar, Harish Babu, Helena and Hemulal.