Social Activist Ashraf Vadakkutt creating meaningful impact in Kerala’s socio-political arena
Mr Ashraf is a prominent face of pilgrim town of Guruvayur and among new generation of activists from Kerala who believes in effectively intervening for the betterment of life for ordinary people
Ashraf Vadakkutt is a photographer and a businessman and has a normal life of a Keralite but what makes him interesting is his passion for activism that is earning him laurels. He has proactively raised issues that concern the lives of people and has suffered jail term for protesting injustices. This is a glance into the world of Mr Ashraf who is making waves recently.
He was born on May 21, 1972to KB Ali in the suburban regions of Vadakkekad, Thrissur. He finished his schooling and had to work for a livelihood from an earlier age.
Ashraf has taken up many issues and was a part of many agitations that resulted in success. Some of the campaigns he has undertaken effectively is cleaning up of Conolly Canal, agitation for Chakkakandam, against garbage treatment plants in densely populated areas, pathetic situation of roads in the pilgrim town of Guruvayoor and anti-narcotic programs.
He emerged as a student leader in the 90’s as the disciple of Congress Veteran KS Narayanan Namboothiri. He shot into public consciousness due to one noted incident from his school days. The Pengamukuschool he was studying denied the permission to pay gratitude to national leaders on an Independence day, he gathered students and public and raised the national flag. He was the school leader and he defied the diktats of the management and the local media reported this incident with much importance.
The then Vadakkanchery MLA KS Narayanan Namboothiri took note of it and informed the education minister of Kerala and minister rebuked the school authorities and lauded Ashraf for his effort for the Independence day program.
His penchant for involving and intervening in improving lives of people continued throughout his youth. His anti-alcohol campaigns became popular and led to reform throughout coastal areas where the issue of alcoholism and narcotics were serious societal troubles. He was in jail for 29 days when he was protesting custodial torture of police. Ashraf has flagged the issue of unscientific construction of sea walls which was causing problems for the local people.
He is the district secretary of Thrissur for All Kerala Photography group and is chairman of Kamala Suraya Charity named after the famed poet. His leadership role and active interest are there in Human Rights Committees, D43 sports club, Action Aid, as PengamukkuKarichal Kadavu Mahallu Jamaat President and KunnankulamPoura Samithi. He was also a member of Janamaitri police initiative in Kunnamkulam.
He was KSU Taluk Secretary, Youth Congress KattakambalManalam President and Sevadal Vadakkanchery Unit Secretary.
Ashraf believes that one of his most important achievements till date is the intervention he made for Ammar, the son of poor Tamil migrants Yasir and Sumayya.
Through medical negligence, a serious injury happened on Ammar, and hospital ignored the plight of these migrant workers. It was a dedicated one and a half year legal fight that Ashraf took got them justice and compensation. His fight for the migrant labours in Human Rights commission attracted statewide recognition of his efforts and mainstream media commended on the good work that he has done.
A sociable and amicable face of pilgrim town of Guruvayur, Ashraf is a familiar face beyond politics and is open to all hues of spectrum. He believes that accessibility and approachability are 2 qualities that are much needed for an activist.