The Founder of the DC Group of Institutions, DC Kizhakemuri’s contributions to the Malayalam publishing industry is immense, so much so that the increased interest in Malayalam books among Keralites could be attributed to this extraordinary individual’s vision and hardwork.
Popularly known as DC, Dominic Chacko Kizhakemuri was born in a middle class family at Kanjirapally, Kottayam on 12th January 1914. After completing his education, he took up teaching as his career. He was an efficient teacher and very popular among the students.
In 1945, DC and his friends started a bookstore called ‘National Book Stall’(NBS) in Kottayam. Soon afterwards he established the Sahitya Pravarthaka Co-operative Society (SPCS) which became one of the largest writers' cooperatives in Asia.
In 1949, SPCS and NBS merged to become the largest publisher of books in Kerala. With such intelligent promotion ideas as home library schemes, pre-publication offers and book clubs and with his extraordinary talent to choose books with potential, DC easily fell into the right track to success.
The founding of DC Books
After retiring, DC started his own publishing firm named DC Books, in 1974. When the pre-publication offer of English- English- Malayalam Dictionary was announced, it received about eleven thousand requests through mail! After that the firm never had to look back.
Manuscripts from several authors started pouring in since DC had an eye for good writing talents. In 1977, DC took over Current Books, a small chain of bookstores. With the expansion of the network, DC books became readily available throughout Kerala.
DC founded the Kairali Children’s Book Trust in 1982 in order to deal with the lack of books for children. Even now it is actively working for the development of children’s literature. DC also established Kairali Mudralayam in commemoration of the 400th year of Malayalam printing.
DC was also involved actively in several organizations such as Kerala State Freedom Fighters Association, All Kerala Publishers and Book Sellers Association and Kottayam Citizen's Council, Advisory Board of National Book Trust, C.V. Raman Pillai National Foundation, Kerala State Library Council, Nelson Mandela Reception Committee (Govt. of India) etc.
DC also proved his acumen in writing, with 15 titles to his credit. Associated with the editing of journals like "Democrat", "Chitrodayam", etc, he also worked as a columnist in several newspapers and journals.
Awards and Honours
Apart from being a distinguished recipient of the Padmabhushan (1999), DC bagged several other awards including:
- Thamrapatra by the Government of India for his contribution to the freedom movement
- The Distinguished Publishers Award by the Federation of Indian Publishers (1996)
- Veteran Publisher Award by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India and Publishers Hall of Fame
- Swadeshabhimani Puraskaram
DC Kizhakemuri passed away on January 26, 1999. His dedication and hardwork still lives through the DC Group of Institutes and is the guiding light behind every endeavor undertaken by the Group.