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Self-effacing social activist

Good Samaritans donate for noble causes and when they find his name on the executive committee, they are rest assured that their money is in safe hands.

He had the resources to start his own industry but never craved for name or fame and was always content with being the `No.2' man in whatever he did. He, however, left no stone unturned to ensure the success of whatever project he was associated with, be it in the field of education, religion or culture. He left an indelible mark on them. Little wonder, today, his name finds place in the executive committees of all the important associations.

Along with A. Prasanna Kumar, D.V. Subba Rao and Varahalu Chetty, he was instrumental in the promotion of the Visakhapatnam Public Library Society, which raised donations from the public and the industry for promoting a public library to meet the aspirations of the people. The society established a modern public library near the B.V.K. College on the land provided by the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation. While Visakhapatnam Port Trust had contributed Rs.70 lakhs for the library project, Rs.20 lakhs was raised from the public.

Meet the publicity shy, Vavilala Seetharamaiah, noted chartered accountant and partner of Brahmayya and Company. Born at Guntur in 1934, he had his early education at the Hindu College High School and the Hindu College in the `tobacco town'. He did his B.Com. from the P.R. College, Kakinada, in 1953 and chartered accountancy from Chennai in 1956.

He joined the Chennai-based Brahmayya and Company as an employee at Vijayawada. He started a branch of the company at Machilipatnam in 1958. He became a partner of the company in 1962. He started a branch of the company in Visakhapatnam as partner- in-charge of the branch in 1962.

He was instrumental in starting the Visakhapatnam branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India along with the then seniormost chartered accountant in Visakhapantam, B.V. Rama Rao, in 1977. He served as chairman of the chapter the next year. He became a member of the Executive Council of Andhra University (nominated by the AP Government) from 1985 to 1989 and from 1996 to 2003.

Seetharamaiah was a founder-member of the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Mangement (GITAM) Society, which runs an engineering college, a college of management studies, an institute of foreign trade and a dental college. As correspondent of the three institutes and vice-president of the society, he along with its president, M.V.V.S. Murthy, contributed to the growth of GITAM group of educational institution. He is also the founder-member of Gayatri Vidya Parishad.

As secretary of the Visakha Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for the last two decades, he took a keen interest in its functioning. The school at present offers up to Std. VII. A building was constructed at a cost of Rs.35 lakhs and plans are on the anvil to upgrade the school.

A member of the Development Committee of Sri Sampath Vinayagar temple at Asilmetta, he along with T.S. Rajeswaran and Prasanna Kumar mooted the idea of setting up a senior citizens home near Simhachalam. An extent of 6.5 acres of land was sanctioned for the project christened `Vaanaprastha' during the tenure of the Endowments Commissioner, Ajeya Kallam.

When good Samaritans donate for a noble cause they would like to ensure that their money is properly utilised. When they find Seetharamaiah's name on the executive committee, they are rest assured that their money is in safe hands. This explains the reason for his association with innumerable committees.

True to their belief he has lived up to the faith reposed in him and never betrayed their trust. After 65, he has reduced his professional activities and is concentrating more on public service activities.

Today, at 70, he yearns to spend the rest of his life in an ashram away from any distractions, but his zest for social work has made him give up the idea.

B. MADHU GOPAL

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