“After I retired, I decided to give something back to the nation that took care of me”
“Newspapers in Germany call me the most successful beggar.”
Born on January 01 1934, in Taiping Malaysia, Mr, Shivadas S. Pattanath, always wanted to be a “helping angel”. The 80 year old, who is undoubtedly young at heart, and is always bustling with energy, humour and life, is a well known name at Langen, Germany. He is one among Langen’s most famous Indians. He was born with thirteen other siblings, and the family spent most of their time in Chennai, India. He joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a young man. It was in 1963 that Mr.Shivadas S.Pattanath entered Germany, as a student, at Fulda in Hesse. He began with a mercantile career, with an American airline, at the Frankfurt airport, known as Fraport today. He worked at Fraport, until his retirement.
“After I retired in 1996, I decided to give something back to the nation that took care of me for several years,” he said, when asked in an interview, by a leading Indian newspaper. “I do anything to help the needy, be it collecting money, motivating youth football teams by sponsoring jerseys or even decorating organisations for functions like anniversaries.” he also added.
Mr.Pattanath has raised over 40,000 euros as funds for welfare work, and has donated blood over 88 times, now. Every time he visits India, he carries with him a lot of goodies and gifts for the disabled children.”Nothing is more joyful than taking these children for an outing or a treat in a restaurant,” says Mr. Pattanath. He also actively participates in monetarily helping the aged and the abandoned elderly at Chennai. He has been constantly supporting the Guild of Service at Anna Nagar, Chennai. His wife, Sabita and he, have donated over Rs.1.5 lakhs to the rehabilitation of the Tsunami affected, at Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu.He also assists the Children’s aid Kenya, Africa and provides monetary support to housing abused women in Mombasa, Kenya.
Mr.Pattanath has been conferred the title, the “Helping Angel “by the German Red Cross. He was also honoured during the Applewine festival, a wine harvest celebration in Germany. He is also the winner of Merit medal, awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany and Landesehrenpreis letter by Volker Bouffier (minister-president of the German state of Hesse).”I am glad I was the only Indian chosen by the Hessen state social ministry for a model project that aimed at motivating people into social service. “he said.
In 2007, Inga Bremer, a student of the Film Academy in Ludwigsburg, committed herself to documenting Mr.Pattanath’s services, both, in Chennai and Germany. “Besides focussing on my work here, the students are also capturing a glimpse of Chennai and its culture on their camera,” he said, when asked. He also added, “In Germany, an individual has enough social security. But the elderly yearn for human relationships. In contrast, our society in India is compassionate, but badly needs monetary support.”
It is a rare sight to get to see an Indian working day in and day out for the betterment of the Indian societies and the country as a whole, but a Non-Residential Indian, toiling towards the goodness of his mother country, is definitely a True Samaritan, and the rarest of the rare. Hats off to you sir !