Talking to social activist Dr Gurajada Sobha Perindevi, one not only gets to know how busy she is but also the many ways a person can engage in social service. Sobha is known as a crusader for the welfare of the aged and their right to live with dignity. She even has a PhD in the study of the lifestyle and problems of senior citizens. She is also known as a tireless social worker involved in other causes like the education of the girl child and opportunities for the visually-impaired.
Dr Gurajada Sobha Perindevi,
She has won multiple awards including the Rex Karamveer Chakra given by ICONGO in association the United Nations. Sobha is also a journalist, poet, playwright, columnist, author of 12 books, NGO-secretary, counsellor and motivational speaker besides being a wife (of a chartered accountant) and mother of two sons. She is also the Ambassador (for Telangana) of Purple Angel Dementia (affiliated to the UK parent body). Besides, she is Vice-President, Sathya Harishchandra Foundation. “This foundation mainly works for the cremation of unclaimed dead bodies. It also helps destitute and abandoned persons or those found wandering the streets to return to their own homes. If that doesn’t work, we admit them in our own home for the destitute,” she explains.
Sobha has three MA degrees – in Telugu Literature, Journalism and Sociology. Also, a Diploma in Social Gerontology. She followed these with a doctoral study of elders’ problems which earned her a PhD from Osmania University. “Like my PhD topic, most of my books are also about the problems of the aged,” she reveals.
Sobha has been at social work since she was a child. “I was a high school student when I saw an accident victim bleeding profusely on the road in the few minutes before help arrived, and later died for want of blood.I decided to become a blood donor and I went out and donated blood. And I have been donating blood on a regular basis till today even though I am now in my 50s.”
Sobha also credits her mother for inspiring her to work for good causes. “As a child, I used to write articles for children’s publications like Chandamama, Balamitra, Bommarillu, Champak, etc. They paid around Rs 30 or Rs 50 for each article. My mother would insist that I use this money to buy presents for my grandparents and granduncles.”
Another focus area for Sobha is the welfare of the visually challenged. She is Secretary, Guiding Light Foundation. The foundation works for the education and health of the visually impaired. It also helps in their marriages and arranges cultural programmes where they are participants. Dr Sobha leaves no stone unturned to grab every opportunity that gives her a chance to serve the needsy and impoverished.