Cooperators pay tribute to Sethu Madhavan

07 Sep 2020

K. Sethu Madhavan

19 February 1952 – 5 September 2020

We regret to inform you of the passing of our colleague and friend, Sethu Madhavan, who served the ICA Asia and Pacific since 1975 and continued to be a responsible and effective member of the staff, as well as a friend and a mentor to scores of others, till the end. Sethu, as we all knew-him, is survived by his wife, his son and daughter-in-law.

The ICA family lost one of their dear members.This unfair disease has taken away unexpectedly our colleague and friend Sethu, who has been part of the ICA AP staff for so many years.We have lost an invaluable colleague, who was always ready to collaborate with everyone, in a caring, responsible and respectful way.He will always be in our memories.

Ariel Guarco, President, ICA

Mr. Sethu was an outstanding cooperator and an old friend for the ICA-AP Region and its member cooperatives. He was whole-heartedly and diligent about his work throughout of his life-long career relating to the cooperative sector. He had devoted himself to have made positive contribution to the development of ICA-AP region, and had been understanding and supportive of our endeavor and that of the members of ICA-AP for a better future of cooperatives. As an old friend of mine, I am always impressed by his kindness and thoughtfulness over the years. I believe, most of us who have known Mr. Sethu in person, will mourn for him as a dear colleague and friend. Moreover, we will never forget the contributions he made over the past 30 years to the work of ICA-AP Regional Office.

Li Chunsheng, President, ICA Asia and Pacific

Sethu was a quiet unassuming man with a lovely smile, who worked hard, was always on hand to explain issues and help in any way he could. He was the backbone of the office and I am sure he will be desperately missed by many.

Pauline Green, President, ICA (2009 - 2015) 

Hailing from Kerala, in south India, Sethu graduated from the Punjab University and joined the ICA Regional Office for Asia and Pacific in his 20s, when the regional office, set up in 1960, was still a young structure and, at the same time, an office of high repute.

Sethu proved to be an inspiration to many generations of co-operators and staff members from many countries, with his dedication and selfless work towards the development of the cooperative movement in the region. While at the ICA-AP, Sethu was in charge of managing the offices of the Regional Directors, staffing the Human Resource Development Committee, managing training courses co-funded by the Japanese Ministry of Farms and Forestry, and was key in organizing regional board meetings, assemblies and high-level conferences such as the ministerial and registrars conferences. He was even part of the team that organized the 1st ever Regional Assembly and 1st ever cooperative ministers' conference in Sydney (Australia) in 1990!

There are very few persons I have known for such a long time (25 years) and have given me such a strong sense of constancy: constancy in his completely natural kindness, in his humbleness, in his efficiency in dealing with an array of practical matters, and in his total dedication to the cooperative movement. ICA is proud to have had such a good and dedicated colleague for so many decades, giving all he could to the cooperative movement.

Bruno Roelants Director General, ICA

I remember him as an excellent individual and co-operator with whom I have the privilege to worked with at the ICA AP, be it during my tenure as well as beyond. I will therefore pray solemnly for Sethu's Soul to Rest in Peace, and to remind all other ICA AP colleagues to take heed of the protocols during this disruptive and lingering pandemic.With sadness and commiserations.

Robby Tulus, RD of ICA-AP(1996-2002)

All those who have met him, young and old, from any corner of the world, have always had a good memory of him. For us too, Sethu leaves an indelible mark and an irreplaceable void, both for the cooperative movement and in our hearts.

He was such a gentle soul and always a great pleasure to be with.  A cooperator to the end! May he Rest In Peace.  

Martin Lowery, Chairperson, ICA Board Committee on Cooperative Identity

Our sympathies to Sethu's family, our colleagues at the ICA Asia and Pacific and ICA member organizations who have had the privilege of receiving Sethu's impeccable service.

ICA Global Office

Message from ICA-AP

It is with extreme sadness we announce the passing of our friend and colleague, Sethu Madhavan. Our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Lalitha; son, Ekanth; and family!

Sethu and ICA-AP were one and the same to members in the Asia-Pacific region. Sethu joined the ICA Regional Office on April 16, 1975 and was continually associated till the day of his passing. For 45 years, Sethu worked with sincerity and dedication for members and cooperatives. He was always there to answer questions, ever eager to help members, a friend and mentor, sincere in his work, and meticulous in whatever task he undertook.

Sethu was the first point of contact for members, be it to know about joining ICA, any issue relating to subscription, or seeking clarification on rules. He was always there to hear, ever ready to respond, and do his best to resolve. As Coordinator of one of the ICA-MAFF training programs, he was a guide and friend to many a cooperator from across the region. As Secretary of the Human Resources Committee, he served with sincerity and dedication.

Sethu played a central role in the Regional Assemblies, Board meetings, and in high level ministerial and other conferences. He would be the first person in the hall and the last person to leave after having ensured order of seating, placement of name plates and flags, arrangement for interpreters, handing out of meeting material, and taking care of hospitality. To many Regional Directors, he was the right-hand man with his knowledge of members, information on board decisions, balanced understanding of issues and finger on happenings in the office.

To staff in the Regional Office, he was a mentor, friend, and guide. It did not matter to Sethu, whether it was the Regional Director or a support staff. He had a friendly demeanor, treated everyone equally, was easily accessible, and every ready to share and guide.

Rest in peace, Sethu! You will be terribly missed!

ICA Asia and Pacific

Read all messages in condolence received by the ICA-AP here


Photo: © Sarita Timsina Bhattarai - Board Member & Coordinator of training education sub Committee at National Co-operative Bank Limited - NCBL


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