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Social service keeps him going



G.S.K. Arya. -- Photo: K.R. Deepak

He believes that for all the good things he has done in his life he has been rewarded somehow or the other by the unseen hand of the Almighty. And this philosophy has egged him on to do social service for the past five decades.

Meet G.S.K. Arya, an octogenarian who has spent a major part of his life in the service of the people. Born in 1920 at Vijayawada to Gopu Ramachandra Rao and Nagaratnamma, he, after his early education, moved to Bombay and passed out from the Sydenham College with a degree in commerce and law.

Later, he shifted to his native place and set up practice. After a successful tenure spanning six years, he shifted his focus to building construction because "I was not accustomed to train my clients to speak lies". At this phase of transition in life he migrated to the City of Destiny in 1952.

And till 1967, he was an active builder. "The transition was good for me, and in this business, I made it a point to have a clean and fair deal. This made me earn a lot of good friends and they still keep in touch with me," says Arya. His knowledge on vaasthu shastra has also helped him to give his clients the best product and he continues to act as a consultant for many.

His formal baptism into social service started with his enrolment into the Rotary movement in 1946. He is one among the few Rotarians in the entire region who was a contemporary of the legendary founder of Rotary International, Paul Harris. Arya rose to the post of Rotary district governor in 1974-75, and continues to serve the club. During his active tenure he initiated many developmental programmes.

Apart from being an active Rotarian, he has been a Freemason for the last 50 years. And through his distinguished service he has risen to the coveted post of Right Worshipful Brother, a designation held only by a few.

A life member of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and vice-president of its local chapter, Arya is on the board of the Vasavi College and many other social organisations. The inherent urge to serve the poor impelled him to join the board of trustees of Prema Samajam and he has been its president since the last 12 years.

"Ever since I took voluntary retirement from business in 1967, I have been an active member of the samajam, through which I have been able to satiate my ambition to do something for the poor, " he says. He has not only helped many economically backward youngsters to pursue studies and become something in life but has also built a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba at Karasa, near Marripalem. "Even in this instance the Almighty has helped me. It so happened that I had deputed somebody with some amount to go to Jaipur and buy a marble idol of the Baba. The person on reaching the place could not locate a perfect idol. At that point he recollected that I had given him an address of a person whom I consulted on Vaasthu Shastra years ago. He somehow could contact that person and he took him to one sculptor who is an exponent in carving Baba's figure and got the requirement fulfilled to the minutest specifications. That was not all, he fell short by Rs.18,000 which was fulfilled by the same friend of mine."

There are many such incidents in this veteran's life that has inspired him to do the good work and he still carries on to do the same day in and day out at his ripe age.

S.B.

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