The extraordinary bonhomie between differently abled M.M. Anugrah and his classmate Fatima Bismi who had been helping him from Class I has found a new fan in Catholicos Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church that is headquartered here.
On Tuesday, the duo accompanied by their relatives and teachers of MAM UP School, Parambilkadavu, Kozhikode, arrived here to receive the accolades of the Church authorities. When they alighted from the Jan Shatabdi Express, they were in for a surprise. The Pontiff himself was at the railway station to receive them. The Catholicos then carried Anugrah for some distance before they entered the escalator on the way out.
Later at a grand function organised to honour over 800 students who had registered exemplary performance at the examinations from Class X to undergraduate programmes, the two were presented with a purse of Rs. 5 lakh towards education.
Speaking on the occasion, the Catholicos said the friendship between the two students was a heavenly experience at a time when we were passing through hell-like experience in our daily lives.
Sans language barriers
The Church also honoured Meenakshi, a Tamil origin student who had scored A+ in all subjects, including Malayalam, in the Class X examination.
She was presented with a purse of Rs. 1 lakh. The three students later had lunch with the Pontiff.
Mahatma Gandhi University Vice Chancellor Babu Sebastian delivered the keynote address at the meeting. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, MLA, priest trusty of the Church Fr. M.O. John, Malankara Association secretary Biju Oommen, and others spoke.