The chenda is a cylindrical percussion instrument used widely in the South Indian states of Kerala, Tamilnadu and some parts of Karnataka. The chenda is a percussional musical instrument mainly played in many art forms and festivals of Kerala, widely used in Kathakali, Koodiyattam, and other dances, rituals of Kerala.
Jayaram is also known for his ability as a chenda percussionist. He has performed the ‘Sruthi Panchari’, a unique musical composition by the chenda Maestro Padmashri Mattanoor Sanakarankutty Marar. Eventhough it is not all that easy to perform along with the Maestro, Jayaram’s continuous effort and commitment fulfilled his long cherished dream of performing with Shri. Mattannoor.
Jayaram’s love for Elephants is well-known. He can even recognise an elephant, if he had seen it before. Growing up in Perumbavoor - Malayattoor, which is the beginning of forest area in the Central zone of Kerala, he got immense opportunities to see the wild elephants being tamed by the domestic elephants, right from his childhood days.
Jayaram fulfilled his wish to own an elephant, when he became an actor. He has also done many films which had elephants in them. Jayaram is widely recognised for his sincere efforts and initiatives to crusade against cruelty to elephants. He is also the member of Elephant Owners Association.
Efforts towards Social Responsibility
House boat trips in the Alapuzha Backwaters are so popular. It has gained wide popularity even among the international tourists. More than 400 houseboats ply in the backwaters of Kerala and 120 among them is in the Alapuzha backwaters. The regular plying of houseboats raised concerns regarding the adverse impact of the pollution caused by diesel engine, kitchen waste and sewage thrown into the water. Jayaram on his own, took the lead for campaigning against the Backwater Pollution and finding effective solutions. It was really an appreciation for him, when the Government of Kerala took effective measures for curbing backwater pollution. Government of Kerala made it mandatory for houseboat operators to use 4 stroke engines instead of 2 stroke engines. Besides, Government also set up two common facility centres in Alapuzha and Kumarakom for treating the waste from the houseboats. This facility enables the houseboats to empty the oil residues, sewage and kitchen waste directly into the common facility centre.
Against Child Begging & Child labor
Luminaries like Mother Teresa have proved that what cannot be achieved by strict enforcement of law can be achieved by sheer compassion and care. Most of the children engaged in begging, comes from very poor families, they are denied even basic primary education and are thus not aware of their own rights. As a humanitarian gesture, Jayaram initiated support to this cause by bringing and admitting children to Jena Seva Shishu Bhavan, Aluva, a rescue centre holding more than 1000 children from the streets and above all provide them with love, care and protection, that is apart from good food, shelter, education and medical help.
Despite remarkable demographic, social, economic and political accomplishments Kerala has not been successful in keeping its children away from the labour force. A recent study says that the stone quarries of Kerala employ more than 20,000 children, the coir industry 80,000 children, fish processing industry about 18,000 children, while the Beedi industry alone engages around 7,000 children.
Jayaram has a long cherished dream about these children being educated and brought to the mainstream of life. He has plans to initiate a powerful campaign against Child labour in the future.