The suffix MTY was good enough for the South Indian Amateur Radio Community to recognize Ashraf Kappad. He became a HAM in the late 90s and since then he was an active amateur radio operator and active social worker. He helped hundreds of people in many different ways with the emergency communications aspect of the hobby. He became synonymous, HAM – Help All Mankind.
Ashraf was always on the forefront to help, support and assist during any disasters and calamities. The train accident at Kadalundi (2001), Tsunami (2004), Iraq-Kuwait war Emergency Communication, Okhi, Kavalappara land slide, Flood in Kerala (2018) etc., are only a few of the ones Ashraf provided his selfless assistance.
Ashraf played a crucial role in assisting District Administration during the disaster in Kavalappara, Nilambur (Malappuram District in Kerala – South India). Shortly after the disaster struck, all modern communication methods such as Cellular Networks, Landline Telephone systems etc. were totally offline in the region. Within hours of the tragedy, a temporary Amateur Radio Station set up at Collectorate at Malappuram District. Then the team headed by Ashraf Kappad VU3MTY, along with members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Communication team made their way to Kavalappara to setup a reliable and parallel communication system, near the Nilambur Taluk office to support the District Administration. Over the next two days, only mode of communication between Collectorate of Malappuram District & Nilambur Tehsildar were through the ham radio apparatus installed by Ashraf.
When Government of Kerala introduced the Civil Defense force under Kerala Fire and rescue services department, Ashraf was appointed as Chief Warden for Calicut region that covers Calicut and Wayanad Districts. For his outstanding services to Civil Defense service, serving his country and people, Director General of Police – Kerala State, awarded him the Satsevana Puraskar (Good Service Award).
Ashraf was also associated with Red Cross as a Volunteer. He was very active with ‘Mritasanjivani’ project of Redcross, an initiative he pioneered, which provided life-saving medicines to people in various parts of Kozhikode district, a service that he took up from first week of April until the very last day of his life. Ashraf will be remembered as a great philanthropist who travelled far distant places in hot summer days with medicines until late at night to bedridden, terminally ill and people of disability. He also coordinated sending medicines abroad for Non-Resident Indians, especially those in the Gulf region.
He was also associated with Happy Voice Trust, a non-profit organization that provided relief during the 2018 Kerala floods. He helped deliver the relief materials received from abroad at various flood-affected regions of Kerala. A week before his untimely demise, he was given supervision of the Disaster Management Communication Division control room at Malappuram District Administration HQ.
VU3MTY was one of the lead operator for the 8T4I, 8TM, AT1KP & AT1RS special event stations & VU7RI – Lakshadweep Island Dexpedition. Ashraf was a regular delegate at almost all the Amateur Radios Operators Meet in the country. Amateur Radio Operators meet at KOCHI – South India (1990) conducted by Kerala Amateur Relay League, HAMFEST 1993 at Salem – Tamil Nadu, BC DX NET convention in Feroke, Kozhikode – Kerala, Malabar Ham meet at Calicut 1996, Malabarmeet 2018 were few among them.
Ashraf will always be remembered for his great personality and for his services to our great nation and humankind. Ashraf will remain a role model and inspiration for the Redcross Volunteers, Civil Defense Personnel and Amateur Radio enthusiasts for his selfless service to the community. Ashraf left a big void in our hearts. He will be deeply missed by all of us.