Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

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Padma Shri awardee, Freedom Fighter and Social Activist Dr. Subba Rao passes away at 92, leaving behind a legacy of Social work

Subba Rao

The great Gandhian and Freedom Fighter Dr. S.N. Subba Rao breathed his last at a hospital in Jaipur early on Wednesday,  27th October 2021. His body will reach Morena on Wednesday at 04:00 PM, which will be kept for the last glimpse. His last rites will be performed at Gandhi Seva Ashram in Jaura, Morena on Thursday i.e. 28th October 2021.

Dr Salem Nanjundaiah Subba Rao (Bhaiji)’s entire life has been devoted to social service. Dr Subba Rao was born in Bangalore, Karnataka, on 7th February 1929. His father Shri Nanjundaiah was an advocate of repute, known for refusing unjust cases. Along with his three brothers, Subba Rao started singing devotional songs at the age of ten in the Ramakrishna Vedanta College, Malleshwaram. While studying in the school he was inspired by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He became a Khadi-wearer.

His first experience with India’s freedom movement was on the morning of 9th August 1942 when he, along with other school students, boycotted classes. He was writing “Quit India” on Street walls and roads when he was arrested by the British police but was later released being only 13 years of age. Since then Shri Subba Rao became active in the freedom struggle of the country. During student life, he actively participated in Student Congress and Rashtra Seva Dal Programmes. Under the banner of a local organization ‘Gandhi Sahitya Sangha’, he led youths to organize an adult education programme in mohallas of labourers.

Under the leadership of Dr. Subba Rao, a cycle rally covered 47 villages of Chambal Valley in 1981 to identify problems at the micro-level and their solutions were then found at the administrative level. With the help of the Ashram, local youth built several significant roads in the Chambal valley. Along with other peace workers, Bhaiji worked hard to bring about the historic surrender of more than 600 dreaded dacoits of the Chambal Ghati. In 1972, the Mahatma Gandhi Seva Ashram played host to the surrender ceremony, which took place in the presence of Shri Jayaprakash Narayan.

In 1976, with the efforts of Bhaiji in Bateshwar, Uttar Pradesh, and Talab Shahi, Rajasthan, dacoits surrendered in large numbers. The Ashram undertook different activities for the welfare of families of the victims and of the dacoits who surrendered.

Presently, the ashram is organizing khadi and Gramodhyog camps, Youth leadership camps, employment generation camps and programmes related to the empowerment of rural people.

Founded the National Youth Project in 1971. Launched the “Sadbhavana Rail Yatra”. Has conducted Gandhi youth camps all over the world – in America, United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Canada, Singapore, etc. Addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Also took part in the Conference of World Parliament of Religions in South Africa in 2001.

He was awarded the Padma Shri, Karnataka Government’s Mahatma Gandhi Seva Award, Shanti Doot International Award, Anuvrat Ahimsa Award, Jamnalal Bajaj Puraskar and a number of other prizes.

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