S Parsuraman: A “pro-people” educator, and institution builder dies at 70 | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

S Parsuraman: A “pro-people” educator, and institution builder dies at 70

Sep 03, 2022 12:53 AM IST

Mumbai: Prominent social scientist and former director of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), professor S Parasuraman passed away early on September 2, after a prolonged illness

Mumbai: Prominent social scientist and former director of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), professor S Parasuraman passed away early on September 2, after a prolonged illness. He was 70. Several colleagues, and mentees have mourned the death of ‘pro-people’ educator who took knowledge from the groves of academia to the deepest corners of the country, enabling the disadvantaged with access to research and education.

S. Parasuraman (HT PHOTO)
S. Parasuraman (HT PHOTO)

“Ask anyone who has worked with him, and they’ll say Prof S Parasuraman transformed their lives. Such was his effect, he ensured people around him continued studying but at the same time, ensured they are in touch with the real world. A rare educationist, who even after taking over as the director of TISS, would wear a backpack and participate in rural assignments without a second thought,” said Prof Ashwani Kumar, dean of the School or Development Studies, TISS.

Get ready to catch the final stages of the World Cup only on Crickit. Anytime, Anywhere. Explore now!

Parasuraman served as the director of TISS from August 2004 until February 2018, when he finally retired, only to continue working in the field of education at a private university in Pune. “He was an environment warrior way before people took up activism in the sector. He fought alongside Medha Patkar, also TISS alumni, as part of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Parasuraman was a rare combination of a scholar, administrator and activist, and we will miss him dearly,” added Kumar.

Born in Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu, Parasuraman trained in demography from Pune University and joined TISS as a lecturer in the Unit of Child & Youth Research in 1992. He then took over as head of the same department from 1993 until 1998. Between 1998 and 2000, he was team leader of the Secretariat and Senior Advisor to World Commission on Dams.

He quit the commission to start work with Action Aid in 2001, only to come back to TISS in 2004 as the director of the institute. From just two MA programs that were run by TISS Mumbai in 2004, the institute today boasts of 50-plus MA programs. Almost all the tributes that came in speak of his institutional-building role at TISS Parasuraman was also instrumental in the setting up of three more campuses for the institute in Guwahati, Hyderabad and Tuljapur in the last few years, always with the aim of making education more accessible to people from every strata of the society.

“He held this position with poise and pride all the way till 2018. Always on the side of the marginalised and a great champion of social action, he was a great source of inspiration for his students and colleagues. He will be remembered through his writings and publications,” said professor Shalini Bharat, current TISS director.

Several social media sites were overflowing with messages for Parasuraman on Friday. Students as well as colleagues reminisced about their personal experiences with their favourite professor/colleague and former director.

M K Stalin, chief minister of Tamil Nadu was among those who condoled his death. While Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Dr Parasuraman was a fine scholar and institution builder. We worked very closely during 2009-14. The PMDRF initiative taken when I was Rural Development Minister owes much to him.”

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India along with Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On