Senior Journalist Sashi Kumar has secured the first Television Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted by the Kerala government, for his contribution to the television media. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.2 lakh, citation and a statuette, Minister for Cultural Affairs Saji Cherian said. The award was given in recognition of Sashi Kumar's contribution as a television personality who has given a secular and progressive direction to the Malayalam visual media, a press release issued by the Minister's office said.
A committee headed by K Sachidanandan and members Venkatesh Ramakrishnan and S Saradakutty; and chairman of Chalachitra Academy Kamal and Principal Secretary to Cultural Affairs Rani George selected the winner. The jury observed that Sashi Kumar played a major role in extending a significant television culture in Kerala.
Kumar, who started his career as a news-reader and a producer in Doordarshan, is also the founder of the country's first regional satellite TV channel Asianet. He is currently the chairman of Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. Kumar was born in 1952 at Karupadanna near Kodungallur in Thrissur district. He completed his graduation from Loyola College and did his postgraduation in history from Madras Christian College.