Several Indian community members remembered the late Qatar-based Indian businessman and philanthropist, C K Menon, as they recently marked his first death anniversary. Menon passed away on October 1, 2019.
Menon was one of the most prominent Indian businessmen in Qatar with several business initiatives in Qatar, GCC and beyond. He was awarded one of the highest Indian civilian awards – Padma Shri – in 2009 as well as Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2006, the highest award for non-resident Indians, besides dozens of awards from other entities. He also received the Qatar National Award from Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue in 2012 for his humanitarian work.
Recollecting his close association with Menon, Girishkumar, former president of Indian Cultural Centre, described him as an “emperor of mercy” and a “leader of humanity, in several fields.
“Affectionately called as Menon Sir, C K Menon was an emperor of mercy and is cherished in the hearts and minds of thousands. He overcame all odds in his life to emerge as one of the leading businessmen in the Middle East.
A deeply spiritual man, he humbly dedicated all his achievements to God. He firmly attributed his success to untiring hard work, high degree of honesty and deep dedication,” said Girishkumar.
According to Girishkumar, Menon was well known for his philanthropic activities and the scale of his charity activities is unmatchable, cutting across all sections of people.
“C K Menon was a beacon of humanitarian activities, a saviour who till his last breath served humanity. His philanthropic activities in the Middle East and India helped the most deserved segments of the society in a big way. He devoted his life in the service of humanity and stayed closely with people while rising above caste, colour or creed. This is the reason C K Menon is greatly adored and respected by the people,” highlighted Girishkumar.
Girishkumar also recounted a personal experience with Menon where he had taken a very generous approach to save the lives of four Indian nationals from a GCC country.
“I was also involved in the whole process. He was willing to pay huge amount of money to save these low-income workers though he did not even know any of them personally. He used to say ‘there is a need for inculcating charity as a culture. Businesses are making money because of the common people and every business person must give back to society a certain proportion of their earnings.’”
Meanwhile, John Gilbert, global member of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress of which Menon was the patron for a long time, said that he had lost a guide and mentor and the memories of their association are still very vivid.
“His death was a great shock and a huge loss for me personally and for the community. I have had decades of association with him and he was closely associated with many of our activities. He not only inspired us to work for the community and uplifting of the poor but led from the front to assist the needy and the weaker sections of the society,” said Gilbert.
According to Gilbert, Menon will eternally be remembered for his humanitarian deeds.
“Though a very successful businessman, Menon was a very humble human being with special focus on helping the needy. Irrespective of his political ideologies and beliefs he was always at the forefront of helping out needy people.”
Gilbert, who has penned a poem in memory of the late philanthropist, said that Menon also was the true face of secularism.
“Irrespective of his own religious beliefs, which he practised very firmly, he always stood for the entire humanity. Whenever, there was a need for any particular religious group back in his native state, he was always supportive of their genuine causes.
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