KALA Annual Day 2023: Celebrating Art, Literature, and Sustainable Living with Padma Shri Dr. G. Shankar

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Kerala Arts and Literary Association (KALA) has announced its upcoming annual day event scheduled for the 28th of October 2023, from 3 pm to 10 pm at the Berkhamsted School Centenary Theatre, located at Kings Road Campus, Berkhamsted, HP4 4BG.

This year, the distinguished Padma Shri award winner, Dr. G. Shankar, founder & Chairman of Habitat Techonology Group, will grace the occasion as the esteemed Chief Guest. Renowned for advocating the use of locally available materials, sustainability, eco-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness, Dr. Shankar has dedicated his life to revolutionising the housing sector in India through innovative and environmentally conscious interventions. He was awarded Padma Shri in recognition of distinguished service in the field of Science and Engineering, Govt. of. India in 2011 

Joining Dr. Shankar as the Guests of Honour are Shri N Srikanth and Smt Aswathy Nair, the Daughter and Son-in-law of the renowned writer MT Vasudevan Nair and classical dancer Kalamandalam Saraswathy. The event will showcase their performance of “SAMAVESHA,” a sensitive exploration of the third gender characters in Mahabharata.

The evening’s program includes the release of KALA’s magazine, Palmleaf, a captivating play by Kala youth, the entertaining KALA Narmavedhi comedy skit, and melodious performances by the in-house talents.

Dr. G. Shankar’s profound influence in the field of architecture and sustainable building practices has garnered global acclaim. Affectionately known as the ‘people’s architect,’ he has spearheaded numerous groundbreaking initiatives within the housing sector in India. He is the esteemed founder of the ‘Habitat Technology Group,’ the largest non-profit organization in South Asia dedicated to the shelter sector. With a dedicated team of 400 professionals and 40,000 trained workers, Dr. Shankar has significantly transformed the concept of sustainable housing, leaving an indelible mark on various regions including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria.

Dr. Shankar’s legacy is characterised by his significant contributions, including the construction of over 100,000 individual houses and mass housing units, as well as extensive training programs for professionals. His exceptional work extends beyond the architectural domain, encompassing critical areas such as disaster mitigation, environmental initiatives, and gender sensitivity.

Notably, Dr. Shankar’s expertise in disaster-resilient architecture has been instrumental during various crises, playing a pivotal role in rehabilitation and resettlement efforts in disaster-stricken regions. Moreover, his steadfast commitment to promoting sustainable building materials and techniques, along with an emphasis on the use of locally available resources, has facilitated a positive social impact, particularly for marginalized sections of society. Dr. Shankar’s significant contributions have earned him various accolades, including the prestigious Padma Shri in 2011, affirming his dedication to people-centric and sustainable architecture.