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|Mitraniketan K. Viswanathan|
8 February 1928|
Vellanad, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
28 April 2014 (aged 86)|
|Occupation||Social reformer, Philanthropist, Environmentalist|
|Children||Asha, Chithra, Beena|
R. Krishna Panickar|
K. P. Goenka Award for Environment
Platinum Jubilee Endowment Trust Award
Jamnalal Bajaj Award
Henry Dunant Red Cross Award
Mitraniketan K. Viswanathan was a social reformer, philanthropist and environmentalist in Kerala, India. He founded Mitraniketan, a non governmental organization in Vellanadu, Thiruvananthapuram in 1956.
Viswanathan was born on 8 February 1928 in Vellanad, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala, India.
He did his schooling in Thiruvananthapuram and joined Visva-Bharati University, founded by Rabindranath Tagore and completed Siksha Bhavana in 1953. Later he continued his studies in the US, the UK and in Scandinavia. During his days in the US, he came in touch with Arthur E. Morgan which helped him shape his later years.
On his return to India, he founded Mitraniketan, The Home of Friends, in 1955, which works in the fields of innovation, training and extension in community development, environment, science, education and appropriate technology. The organisation has since grown to cover 60 acres of land housing Mitraniketan People's College, a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), a training centre for women, a fully equipped bakery, pottery centre, and a technology transfer programme.
He was the patron of Kerala Voluntary Action League (KAVAL), a network of Non Governmental organizations. Further, he chaired many organisations and attended conferences in India and abroad and served as a member of many government boards.
He died on 28 April 2014 due to heart related problems at a private clinic in Thiruvananthapuram.
He was a winner of many awards and fellowships, including Platinum Jubilee Endowment Trust Award by Indian Merchants Chamber, K P Goenka Award for Environment by Asian Cables Foundation and The Jamnalal Bajaj Award for application of science and technology in rural areas. He was awarded Padmashri by Government of India in 2009.