Dear Members of the entire SICA Family,
It is indeed a great pleasure and privilege to be elected as President of this august institution known as “SICA” (South Indian Cultural Association) on 24th August 2014 for the coming two years up to 2016. To serve this esteemed institution I am ably supported by my various team members who are holding different posts and have joined hands with me in this journey to take SICA to greater heights from where it is now.
Although South Indians even today constitute only a few thousands in terms of Indore’s population but have contributed in many ways to the benefit of the entire South Indian community in particular and among north Indians in general.
It is here I wish to share that only a handful of South Indians migrated to Indore in the early 1920s - amongst whom was also my father Shri V.S. Kumar Iyer and his two elder brothers Shri V. Panchapakesan Iyer & Shri V. Rajagopal Iyer; later followed by Shri Gopal Iyer (Post Master), Shri Sankara Iyer, Shri Hanumanth Rao, Shri Rajam Iyengar, Shri (Justice) Krishnan, Shri S. Krishnamoorthy, Shri Swami Saheb (C.K.N. Swamy), Shri O.M. Chellappa, Shri N. Krishna Murthy and Shri Iyer (Dunlop).
Thereafter many more eminent personalities who have served and/or are still serving the SICA association followed. They are namely Shri A.S.K. Sharma, Shri S. Narayan Iyer, Shri P.S. Bala Subramanian, Shri T.N. Unni, Shri K. Ramachandran, Shri S.S. Mani, Shri V.S. Mani (ACC), Shri V.S. Mani (Union Bank), Shri B. Narsimhan, Shri S.R. Venkatesh, Shri K. Srinivasan, Shri P. Babujee, Shri V. Natrajan, Shri P.V. Viswanathan (Founder of SICA School), Shri P.B.S. Nair, Shri (Dr) Shantaram & Shri (Dr) V. Ganesan, Shri S.M. Ranganath and many more.
Belatedly I express my gratitude and regards to Shri R. Srinivasan, Shri P.N. Rangan, Shri N.K. Kamath, Shri M.P. Venkatraman, Shri V. Raghavan and Shri S.N. Ananth who also have held varied posts and served this SICA Association & SICA School.
I am apologetic if I fail to mention names of any personality who had or who has served the SICA to bring this organization to this level. I am also apologetic for not having mentioned in the order of their seniority in Indore, if so is the case.
For the benefit of many who may not know, this organization has its roots since 1953, though formally it came in to existence since 1956 under Shri Hanumanth Rao (the then Municipal Commissioner) as founder President and Shri S.K. Krishnamoorthy as founder Secretary respectively.
As the name exists SICA, so is its culture and the people from the entire Southern India serving the Society. The organization is indebted to Tamilians, Keralites, Kannadigas & Andhrites who have served this organization to reach its present growth, name and fame. People from all these 4 states have collectively, cohesively and ardently worked for SICA’s development - though in the subsequent years different offshoots representing their different states / cultures have come into existence.
Gradually when numbers of South Indians increased, especially Tamilians, which made SICA buy a piece of land in 1964, under the Presidentship of Shri Y. Subramaniam, which constructed an Asbestos roofed hall in 1961 where all the cultural activities were carried on. Incidentally with the times to come it has now taken the shape of a beautiful Air-Conditioned Auditorium with a seating capacity of nearly 350 to 400 people. On account of this beautiful auditorium varied cultural activities particularly from South India are held – including Dance, Carnatic Music, Dramas, Arts and Performances etc.
I believe that Indore is a truly cosmopolitan city with a special liking for we South Indians. In fact this was one of the primary reasons to start a small K.G. Class at 14, Sanghi Colony – and from those modest and humble beginnings today SICA has taken the shape of a huge banyan tree with its schools affiliated to CBSE and almost 8000 children getting education here. The 5 schools are well spread across Sanghi Colony, Aranya, Scheme 54, Scheme 78 and Nipania. And to top it all our new College flagged off at Nipania in 2013 has only added another feather to our cap as SICA family.
Another beauty that I have observed of we South Indians of Indore is that there is a very healthy competition among few hundred members to serve the society honorarily and that is the hallmark of its success hitherto & I am confident that this would remain in future too irrespective of whoever leads it!
We are blessed to have our own beautiful temple of our beloved Lord Murugan (also known as “Kartikeya” in North India) at SICA School. This beautiful idol was given and blessed by Brahmaleen His Holiness Shankaracharya Sri Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal of Sringeri Sharada Peetham way back in the late 1980s and the Kumbabhishekam was performed on 09th June 1993. It is not out of place to mention the efforts made by Shri V.S. Kumar Iyer to have this unique temple constructed at Indore - who also had the privilege to lay the foundation stone of this temple in January 1993. Today this beautiful temple has almost all deities at our Scheme 54 premises.
We are also blessed to have two senior priests who spiritually and religiously perform all the nitya-karmas at the temple and facilitate thousands of children getting blessed by Lord Murugan every day before their day starts.
Some of you might also be interested in knowing that Shri. N. Krishnamurthy had played a vital role in drafting the trust deed in 1984 resulting in the formation of the office of this Trust with 4 Trustees headed by Chairman who is the officially elected President of SICA and thus serves as the link between the Trust/School and the Association.
Equally significantly, the SICA School has nearly 400 teachers and about 100 administrative staff who tirelessly serve this mighty educational institution. I would be failing in my duties if I do not mention the yeoman service rendered by these teachers and staff (many of them for decades) - who are greatly responsible for the respect that the South Indian community enjoys today in the city of Indore – by imparting top-class education and facilitating all round personality development of our children.
Our SICA School has excelled not only in education but sports too have brought laurels to our school. One of our members’ son Mr. Anand Rajan is representing in Ranji Trophy and in IPL Cricket Tournaments too. And how can we forget that the children of many of our members are serving the country in different capacities and in different forms of armed forces. We salute such parents/our members and their children – sons of Shri V.S. Mani(Union Bank) and son of Shri Vijay Kumar Iyer - to quote a few.
Similarly services rendered by an unassuming personality like Shri V.R. Subramanian, a Chartered Account by profession, who evinces extra interest in teaching Tamil to local Tamilians who have been born & being brought up in Indore – only continue to amaze me every time.
The South Indians who have been part of this beautiful city of Ahilyabai Holkar have now become dissolved like sugar in milk. Hence many have not encouraged the thought of going back to their respective native places in down South.
Since this is my maiden communication to you as the SICA President, I thought it might be a good idea in the benefit of all - to share some background and history about our SICA Association and the School – which we so earnestly serve and dearly cherish. As it is well said – “If you don't know history, then you are a leaf that doesn't know that it is part of a tree”
To conclude, on behalf of all my colleagues in SICA Association, Colleague Trustees and Staff Members of all SICA Schools & College – I share our renewed commitment to serve our community and the city of Indore to the best of our ability, sincerity, loyalty and honesty. I once again feel honoured and indebted to lead SICA as its President and express my gratitude to all of you for choosing me to serve you in this new avatar.
I know & am confident my elders and colleagues of SICA would give me all necessary support and guidance from time to time to pave the way for its ultimate goal. I invite one and all to join the team by participating and engaging in organizing all events, activities, programmes and celebrations from time to time.
I pray for every one’s prosperity, healthy and wealthy life.
‘HARIOM’ to one & all.
May long live SICA!
S B S IYER
For and on behalf of SICA Managing Committee