Professor K V Thomas, Member of Parliament, and former cabinet minister for the government of a India, spoke recently with Chai on building relationships between India and the USA and in particular with Minnesota. “Our relations are good but they could be great. I see a lot of potential in education and the health care sectors.”
As Cabinet Minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, he helped pass the Food Security Act which made food security a right for people living in poverty. Now the poor will be entitled to food at a very affordable price of a few cents for food grains. Included in the legislation was the empowerment of women as the act defined the oldest female in the household as the “head of the household.”
Professor Thomas is also one of the few Catholics in the Indian Parliament. He recently met with Pope Francis and shared the experience of making food security a right in India.
By his house is a community stadium. We can see imprints of his leadership in efforts to preserve the old trees and integrate them in the design of the stadium. He is well respected in the local community with even a local street in Kochi named after him.
Chai Publisher, Dr. Bruce Corrie, shared with Professor Thomas the economic contributions of Americans of Indian origin living in Minnesota and the work of groups like the India Association of Minnesota. He also shared the work of the Consul General of India, Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed who worked hard to build trade and community relations with Minnesota during his recent visit to Minnesota.
Professor Thomas hopes to visit Minnesota later this year if his schedule permits.