Mississauga: There is a remarkable verse that the enlightened Gautama Buddha said to the world while meditating at the foot of the Bodhi tree. “Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion”. These words are very much relevant in the present day when the world is becoming more segregated in the name of communalism. Prasad Nair, director of the Northwest Branch of Toronto Children’s Aid Society, says this vision of secularism and humanity has always guided him in life. It was no coincidence that Prasad Nair, who might be confined to a college drop-out and unemployed in Kumily, Idukki district of Kerala, became a social worker in Canada. With hard work and dogged determination, he now has an inspiring story to tell about the mountain of misery he has climbed in his life.
As a teenager, Prasad Nair was a very poor student. After an average victory in Class X, he joined NSS College, Changanassery for his undergraduate degree, but the result was defeat. During this time he began to think about dropping out of college and finding a small job. But the constant advice of his parents and grandparents changed his mind. He later completed his undergraduate education at a parallel college. Subsequently he joined Thevara SH College for BA Sociology. During this period, Prasad Nair, who was active in college politics, was elected as a member of the University Council. He says his commitment to society has attracted him to politics.
After studying at Thevara SH College, Prasad Nair joined Loyola College, Thiruvananthapuram for Master’s Degree in Social Work. This is where he met his wife, Bindu Elizabeth. After completing his studies, Prasad Nair got a job as an HR in a company in Ernakulam in 1997. Although he entered the job, Prasad Nair did not want to give up his studies. That is how he joined Ernakulam Law College for LLB. He got an opportunity to move to Canada shortly after completing his LLB. So in 2003 he set foot in Canada. The early days in Canada were pretty difficult for him. He joined the University of York to study MSW because his native degree was not recognized in Canada. He worked extremely hard in factories for meager wages and earned money for his studies and daily expenses. Looking back, Prasad Nair remembers those were the days he really fought for survival.
Prasad Nair says things got a little better when he got a job in Peel Children’s Aid Society after graduation. It was during this time he had the opportunity to interact closely with the Malayalee community in Canada and interact with more people. Prasad Nair got acquainted with the office bearers of various Malayalee societies and took part in their activities. When he left Peel Children’s Aid Society in 2019, Prasad Nair was working as a manager. He is currently the Director of the North West Branch of Toronto Children’s Aid Society and is a member of various organizations and Malayalee communities. He has been a member of the Mississauga Kerala Association for 15 years and has been the President of the Association for the last 8 years. He is an active member of the GTA Malayalee Association and FOKANA (Federation Of Kerala Associations in North America) and is the General Secretary of the National Federation of Malayali Association. In addition to this, he is also a founding member and advisory member of the Malayali Association of Social Workers in Ontario. Prasad Nair is also a founding member and board vice chair of Ontario Heroes, a leading social work organization in Canada.
Prasad Nair says that he has always been inspired to extend a helping hand to the newcomers to Canada and to be active in the activities of the Malayalee Association because of his broad outlook on humanity and brotherhood. He adds that his difficult past of life has given him an invaluable insight into the significance of Indian philosophy, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” According to Prasad Nair, this eminent quote from Gandhi touched his soul. The empowerment of all those who feel oppressed or downtrodden was a dream of mine from adolescent age. That’s the only reason he chose social work as his domain. Prasad Nair‘s wife Bindu Elizabeth is also a social worker. His sons Abhijit, a software engineer and Abhinav, an engineering student give immense support to him along with their mother. When somebody tells Prasad Nair about his unique services, he often replies with American poet Robert Frost‘s famous line, “And miles to go before I sleep” with a smile. May he surely be able to cross more noteworthy milestones in his career by serving more people.