Alphons Kannanthanam was born August, 1953 in a non electrified village in Kottayam District, Kerala, India. He had his school education in the nearby Malayalam medium village schools.
He was one of the toppers of the IAS examinations in the year 1979. Even though he was an economist by training, he opted for history, sociology and philosophy and came out with flying colors. Once in the IAS, he decided that he was going to be a civil servant with a back bone. For 27 years, he lived with his back bone intact. Every job he held, he has made a remarkable difference.
With eight years to go in the IAS, he quit in 2006, and was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly, from Kanjirappally in Kottayam District, Kerala, 32 days later, with a huge majority. He has been a voice for progressive change in the Assembly. He is also a practicing advocate in the High court and the Supreme Court of India.
Few of his achievements include:
Pioneered the literacy movement in India, by making Kottayam Town the first 100% literate town in India in 1989, as District Collector.
Built a cancer centre at Kottayam Medical College, with contribution from 8.2 million people.
Demolished 14,310 illegal buildings in Delhi, and reclaimed land worth Rs. 10,000 crores, as Commissioner, Delhi Development Authority.
Authored the bestselling book titled “Making A Difference”, published by Penguin India, in 1996. The Malayalam translation, “India Mattathinte Muzhakam” , published by DC Books, is it’s 12th edition.
Won T.RAMARAO award from Kottayam Public Library in 2008, for making the most outstanding contribution to the development of Kottayam.