The Saba Ravishankar Memorial Award for Community Leadership - 2013
The recipient of the Saba Ravishankar Memorial Community Leadership Award for 2013 was Mr. Murugananthan Kathirithamby.
Recipient: Mr. Murugananthan Kathirithamby
Muruga, as he is known in the community in Ottawa, was recognized with the award for his tireless community service and continued leadership in the Ottawa Tamil community for more than 20 years.
As soon as he came to Ottawa he got involved in the Tamil community and student organizations. In 1991, Muruga became the cultural coordinator of the Ottawa Carleton Tamil Student Association (OCTSA). He played a key part in putting on high quality programs organized by OCTSA. He was well known for his love of drama and bringing local Tamil talent to the stage. He continued his involvement with the student organizations and became the person in charge of public relations with Carleton University Tamil Student Association (CUTSA). Muruga initiated a fund raising activity through CUTSA that collected more than $4000 that was handed over to charities to help out the Tamils in his homeland.
Muruga believes in the importance of teaching Tamil language and culture to the next generation of Tamils. He was a strong supporter of establishing a new Tamil school in 1997 and continued to work to grow the school. He volunteered his time in school activities and worked tirelessly in finding a permanent home for the school.
As an avid supporter of Tamil language and culture, Muruga realized there was a need to create an organization to highlight the Tamil language and culture. He co-founded Muthamizh Kala Mandram in 2011. This organization organized highly successful Pongal celebrations in January 2012 and 2013. The events highlighted the richness of Tamil culture and language and brought the whole Tamil community in Ottawa together.
Muruga is a devoted Hindu. From his early days in Ottawa, he yearned to establish a temple for the Tamil Hindus in Ottawa. It was a great challenge for sure. Muruga established a small temple in his residence, which was attended by his friends and family. The desire to establish a larger, permanent temple was burning strongly in his mind. His dream came true in 2007 when he founded the Ottawa Sivan Temple. The temple was a dream come true, not only for Muruga, but for the larger Hindu community of the National Capital Region as well.
Muruga works tirelessly for the community. He believes in results and takes on challenges with positive attitude and enthusiasm. He is a leader who inspires people around him to join with him to deliver results.
Five Major Achievements
- Instrumental in founding the Ottawa Sivan Temple (www.ottawasivantemple.com)
- Co-Founder of Muthamizh Kala Mandram (Ottawa Tamil Cultural Association - www.muthamizhkalamandram.com)
- Served in the boards of Ottawa Carleton Tamil Student Association (OCTSA), Carleton University Tamil Student Association (CUTSA) in the 1990's and worked in uniting the students.
- Organized numerous activities in Ottawa and Cornwall to build bridges between the Tamil communities in both cities.
- Founded Ottawa Tamil Children and Youth Foundation (www.otcyf.ca)
Archived: The selection invitation for the Saba Ravishankar Memorial Community Leadership Award in 2013.