Tirupati: RASS founder Muniratnam succumbs to Covid-19

Munirathnam with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu
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Munirathnam with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu

Highlights

The RASS has its presence in 2,500 villages in various districts in AP and also in Telangana, TN and Odisha States

Tirupati: City-based NGO Rashtriya Seva Samithi (RASS) founder president Dr Gutta Muniratnam died of Covid on Thursday. The 85-year-old well known social activist and awardee of Padmasri was admitted in a private hospital after he was found Covid positive, 10 days back and succumbed to the virus this evening.

Muniratnam, who bagged dozens of national and international awards for social service more so in the areas of welfare of disabled, aged, women empowerment and child development, began his service activities at the age of 15 in his native village Seethapuram, near Tiruvallur in the composite Madras state where he was born in January 6, 1936. First, he founded Balanandam Sangham for children before joining in Bharath Sevak Samaj for taking up social service activities for youth (1960-66).

He came into contacts with national leaders and Gandhians Acharya NG Ranga and Nirmala Deshpande spurred him to take up more social service activities based at Tirupati to which he was shifted in 1970.

Later he joined with noted freedom fighter and Congress leader P Rajagopal Naidu to found Rayalaseema Seva Samithi which was later changed to Rashtriya Seva Samithi (RASS) in 1981 to expand social service activities and now, has its presence in 2,500 villages in various districts in AP and also in Telangana, TN and Odisha.

He was honoured by S V University with honorary doctorate degree and by Union government with Padma Shri in recognition of his outstanding welfare activities and also served as member of several Central government bodies including planning commission.

RASS sources said Muniratnam mortal remain will be brought here and will be kept in RASS headquarters Seva Nilayam on Friday for public to pay homage and later final rites will be performed at Govindadhamam crematorium in the city at 12 pm.

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