Our founder, Mannathu Padmanabhan instilled a sense of direction in the decadent Nair community by organizing the Nair Service Society, a service organization committed to the cause of providing modern education, a positive outlook, a sense of purpose and a competitive edge. The educational institutions spread across the state bear testimony to his visionary zeal. He is remembered for the service he rendered to the state of Kerala and its people. He will always be an inspiration and a source of guidance to us.
Sri. Mannathu Padmanabhan dedicated his life to the upliftment of the people of Kerala in general and the Nair community in particular. The peerless leader and great social reformer was born in the closing decades of the 19th century in the village of Perunna in the Changanacherry taluk of the erstwhile state of Travancore. Abject poverty misery and deprivation marked the early years of his life. He started his careers as a teacher before moving on to practice law. Before long he found himself drawn into the vortex of political and social movements. The plight of the Nair Community that was witnessing its own decadence and disintegration, precipitated by superstitious veneration for antiquated customs and tradition, filled him with anguish. He marshalled his oratory skill and organizational ability to motivate, inspire and mobilize the community. The Nair Service Society which he conceived, nursed and nurtured epitomised the hopes and aspirations of the community. His personal life was inextricably intertwined with the history of the N.S.S. He travelled extensively through the state, met people, organized them and won their love and regard with the help of his disarming simplicity, single-minded devotion, will, and determination.
Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his principles of Satyagraha, Mannam led a march called Savarnajatha for the cause of untouchables in Kerala, which was influential in allowing members of all castes to enter temples, the Temple Entry Proclamation. The dynamic roles he played in the Vaikom Satyagraham and in the independence struggle and his subsequent imprisonment turned him into a legend in his life time. The major milestones in the history of the N.S.S intersect the social , political and cultural history of Kerala. In 1950, Mannathu Padmanabhan gave up his surname, stating that should not be an indicator of caste . In the same year, he was honoured with the the title Bharath Kesari [Lion of India] for his outstanding and selfless social service. He was also awarded the Padmabhushan by the Government of India in 1966. He passed away in 1970 at the age of 93. His philosophy of action and the value of unity has remained with the community through generations, and his legacy is undiminished by passage of time.