DWARAKNATH REDDY RAMANARPANAM TRUST
'MY WORLD IS A MIRROR IMAGE OF WHAT I AM'
Dwaraknath Reddy - Founder Trustee
Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust (DRRT) is driven by a mission - 'To Create a Movement Towards Perfection.' Founded in 1983, by philanthropist, Dwaraknath Reddy, the Trust has come miles promoting welfare of poor communities.
Dwaraknath Reddy was born in 1924, in a rural agricultural family living in Pulicherla village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. He studied at the Rishi Valley School, (founded by J Krishnamurthy), graduated from Madras University and went on to get a post-graduate degree from the Louisiana State University in America. With just a modest capital he 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.
In His Own Words :
“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.
Thus in 1983, when the younger generation seemed equipped to take over the management of factory and family, I quietly sought retreat at Tiruvannamalai (Arunachala). The great sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, had spent most of His life there. 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 Ramanashramam was my natural destination. Staying alone and without any involvement, I arrived at an age of late seventies. Growth of 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 insanitation, and the sick had nowhere to turn.
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 is 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 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?
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.
In creation there are no islands in isolation. In mankind, there are no individual pools, separate from the streamof 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 welath into worship.
This Trust will be recognized by its fragrance, the sweet fragrance of selfless love. The acceptance of this offering by the needy is all the blessings I seek in return.” And so the The Ramanarpanam Trust was born, as the offering, or “arpanam” of a devoted “sadhaka” to his spiritual master, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
WHEN THE SEED WAS SOWN
In the milling sea of humanity, there are but a few who are able to turn a family owned confectionary business into a nationally acclaimed company, and a household name, within the short span of a life-time. There are even fewer, who after scaling heights of success, choose to give it all up to tread the path of serving humanity. What is it that makes them give up comforts known only to a chosen few and embrace the suffering of others? What is it that compels them to bond with people they never met before and strive to free them from suffering and disease? What makes them want to enthuse a person who has lost the will to survive with dreams of a better tomorrow?
As we attempt to answer these and other questions, we chronicle some of the experiences in the lives of the poor, in whose life Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust came as a turning point. These changes did not happen overnight. A seed sown by its founder patron,Dwaraknath Reddy, grew over twenty years, spreading its branches to become the tree of life. A tree, nurtured with the sweat and toil of a team who felt privileged to be actively involved in it. The tree is still growing, and growing strong.
DRRT became the turning point in the lives of people, stricken by suffering, disease, illiteracy and neglect. Dwaraknath Reddy created DRRT as a means of support for urban poor and rural communities to access opportunities that enable children, youth and women to a life of dignity and security. The Trust is achieving more with many other initiatives than ever before, established to help improve the lives of many communities. Learn more about what we do, who we help, and how we work every day to drive and promote a socio economic change.
THE TREE OF LIFE
Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust (DRRT), established by Dwaraknath Reddy was able to get the means to support people, create employment opportunities, enable access to education. A seed sown by Dwaraknath Reddy grew over the past decade and a half, spreading its branches to become ‘Tree of Life’. A tree, nurtured with the sweat and toil of Anita Reddy, his daughter, who was blessed with the mandate to manage DRRT, and others in the DRRT team who felt privileged to be actively involved in it.