THE GENESIS OF
DRRT AND ITS INITIATIVES DRIK AND DWARAKA
“I know too well the face of Death. He has been a frequent visitor to this family. He came calling for those I said were too young, and he came to clasp those I said were not too old. I have remained the survivor, but the first visitation that shattered my youthful complacency was reminder enough - my turn will come. There was no despair, only an awakening. The law of life includes death. Law means justice, equal and consistent, always and for all.
I should never again be caught confused and victimized, frightened and helpless. I must be consciously aware of the laws that govern creation and I must harmonize with them.
That resolve stayed with me. Self-enquiry was my inner life and it became my strength and support. Outwardly my work was laid out. I had to fill the gaps left by the departed, care for the young, build up a nascent family-owned industrial enterprise, earn and provide. Success came. Wealth grew. At the same time my quest after ultimate values endowed me with detachment and peace inwardly and dynamism outwardly.
"In 1983, when the younger generation seemed equipped to take over the management of the business and the family, I quietly sought retreat at Tiruvannamalai (Arunachala) in Tamil Nadu, where the great sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, had spent most of His life. His words filled my being and my longing; He was to me the indisputable proof and fulfillment of the wisdom and the promise of all scriptures. Therefore a home near Ramanashram was my natural destination.
Staying alone and without any involvement, I arrived at an age of mid nineties. Growth of the business had enhanced the value of my “residual wealth”, left as mine after I had done my duty towards members of the family. All of them were reasonably prosperous. I saw no merit, no righteousness, in bequeathing my share again to sons and daughters and grand children as a matter of course; instead, I sought to give it the status of virtuous tradition.
It belonged to Bharath, my country, in which millions lived in poverty. An uncaring society negligently denied them support to live with dignity. Willing hands could find no work, willing minds had no access to education, healthy bodies turned feeble through starvation and in-sanitation, and the sick had nowhere to turn.
There is this little but profound narration in The Song of the Bird by Anthony De Mello: On the street I saw a naked child, hungry and shivering in the cold. I became angry and said to God, “Why do you allow this? Why don’t you do something?” God did not reply.
That night he said, quite suddenly, “I certainly did something. I made you.” I suppose I likewise burst out,“ Bhagavan Ramana, why don’t you do something?” And he gently said to me,“ I did. I gave Anita as a daughter to you. I slowly understood what it meant."
I made a trust out of my personal funds, grateful to Ramana Maharshi for guiding me on this path it is named “Ramanarpanam Trust”. A problem still remained. For any enterprise on that scale, a sound plan of action was essential. Goals must be clearly identified, priorities must be set, ambition and prudence must be balanced, duties and demand must co-exist, and there must be a management that is committed, dedicated and answerable.
The cause must be the Master, the Trust the willing servant. How was this to be ensured, while evidently I could not be a participant, given my age and my life of introspection?
In creation there are no islands in isolation. In mankind, there are no individual pools, separate from the stream of humanity. Cosmic happenings are an interwoven web of one fabric, and not separate, unrelated strands of random events. Long before I even knew the direction my life may take, Bhagavan’s integrated plan had seen to it that when my material wealth grew, and my mind could offer it to the needy, I had also been blessed with a daughter who had grown in service and could use it scrupulously and intelligently for the welfare of the downtrodden. I had the answer. The problem was solved. I would entrust Anita with the sacred task of turning this wealth into worship."
Dwaraknath Reddy was born in 1924, in a rural agricultural family living in Pulicherla village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. With a modest capital he co-founded the Nutrine Confectionery Company, which became one of the most successful companies in that field. At the height of his success in business he handed over the family-owned company to the younger generation and gave himself totally to the pursuit of spiritual enquiry. In 1983 he settled down near Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai, pursuing the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.
It is his words, deeds and life that inspire and guide the Ramanarpanam Trust.
An Industrialist And Philanthropist, A Literary Scholar And Author.
Meet The Trustees
DRRT, DRIK and DWARAKA Managing Trustee
Anita Reddy, is one of the Founder Trustees of AVAS (Association for Voluntary Action and Services) and the Managing Trustee of Ramanarpanam and Ranjini Dwaraknath Reddy (RDRT) Trusts and the DRIK and DWARAKA foundations been working voluntarily through AVAS and the DRRT Trusts for the upliftment of the downtrodden, especially in the urban slums of Karnataka and in the villages of Andhra Pradesh for the past 40 years.
She has been on different policy making bodies, government and non-governmental touching the lives of thousands through her efforts and work with the poor.
DRRT, DRIK and DWARAKA Trustee
Vikram Reddy joined the family business, Nutrine Confectionery Co. Pvt Ltd. in 1977 after completing his graduation in the U.S. Initially working at various levels of Distribution, Sales, Marketing, General Administration, he eventually took over as Managing Director of the group in 1983.
Taking over the responsibility from his uncle Mr. Dwaraknath Reddy, during his tenure for 23 years, he significantly expanded employee social welfare benefits like funding primary and secondary education for children and tertiary education scholarship for academic achievers, as well as covering catastrophic health expenditure (exceeding insurance cover) for employees.
Additionally, in the year 2000, employees who had served over 10 years with the company were given free land in a dedicated, developed housing colony. His commitment to philanthropy combined with his management expertise has provided longstanding support to DRIK and DWARAKA Foundations.
Pratap Reddy, is a graduate from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and went to Chapman University, Orange County, California for Post Graduation in Management. After completing his college, he set up a Flexible Packaging Industry in Bangalore during the year 1978.
Being the youngest son in a freedom fighters family, Pratap was moulded under the direct blaze of peoples struggles for a free India. In his later years this became his motivation to serve the Nation, and as a Trustee of DRRT he has lent himself committedly to its work with the poor.
DRIK and DWARAKA Trustee
Siddharth Reddy has a background in Business and Finance, and has held varied roles in multiple corporate setups. He has been part of the Price Water house Coopers Financial advisory team as a business analyst, and a six year stint as an Executive on the senior management team of the family owned flexible packaging company. Currently, he manages his family's finance portfolios as an investment professional including his own portfolio. His hobbies and passions include wildlife photography and writing. His left brained business acumen, combined with his right brained capabilities for aesthetics, and his undying spirit to support the management of the DRIK and DWARAKA foundations makes him an integral part of it.
Pooja Reddy Nakamura
Her research focuses on the development of literacy skills in several low and middle income countries, including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Egypt, Laos, Ethiopia and Zambia.
She has co-led the development of reading curriculum, teacher training and classroom materials, and reading assessments in several contexts.
She has also taught a variety of language courses at the university level, including English as second language and Japanese as foreign language. She has presented her work at international conferences and authored peer-reviewed scholarly articles on topics related to language and literacy acquisition.
Her research and training to the youth and facilitators in collaboration with DRIK and DWARAKA have been extremely productive in improving the quality of literacy and language inputs in the educational institutions run by DRIK, as well as Government schools.
Raam is a writer-director based in Bangalore. He grew up pursuing poetry and photography and went onto study Economics Honors at St. Stephen's College, New Delhi, and Direction in Prague Film School.
Included in the Forbes list of 30 under 30, Raam has written a novel titled "It's Raining in Maya", directed twelve short films, and is the writer and director of an Internationally acclaimed and hugely successful film called "THITHI" starring non-professional actors who are mostly farmers from the Mandya District in the Karnataka State of India.
Raam's most critically acclaimed short film, "Ika", was made in collaboration with children from DRRTs Jeevanotsava initiative starring talented child actors from MRS Palya slum in Bangalore, to whom Raam had taught Tabla while still in high school.
With a passionate inner drive and pursuit for perfection in all his endeavors, Raam remains committed to DRRT's ethos of upliftment, especially in its focus in creating the future youth leaders, often using art as a vehicle for multidimensional and value-based education.
Hindola is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by qualification. She has held positions at Infosys and Manhattan Associates as a Quality Assurance Analyst. Post her corporate stint, she has undertaken various initiatives involving teaching. In the last 3 years, she has spent time teaching singing for the Jeevanotsava program. She runs a Math centre for children aged 4-14 and also freelances as a Math content writer. She is passionate about Indian classical music and is undergoing training as a Dhrupad vocalist. She believes in touching children's lives through relevant education and is pursuing the Montessori methods for teaching her children.
Bhavya Reddy is a Research Consultant with the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation of India.
She has an undergraduate degree in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Bhavya has worked for over a decade in public health with a focus on women's health. She is passionate about maternal health rights and issues of gender equity more broadly.