Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Prof Vontimitta Visweswaraiah - Obituary

Prof Vontimitta Visweswaraiah - Obituary

Prof Visweswaraiah passed away at 5:15 pm on 14th July 2015 after a brief illness, in Secunderabad.
I have lost a great friend and guide in his death. We were together in a number of seminars symposia, meetings, workshops and associations.  He was a teacher, philanthropist, gerontologist, administrator and a traveler. He was pious, friendly, helpful, generous, tolerant, mild, selfless and soft spoken. There are hundreds of living witnesses for his generosity in kind, cash, action and thoughts. I am fortunate to be one among these.  For those who may not have known him well I am giving below some details taken from my files.


Prof Vontimitta Visweswariah born on 1-6-1930 in Andhra Pradesh is an alumnus of university of Madras and has the distinction of working for 46years as a lecturer, professor and principal of several degree colleges in AP. He contributed in restructuring syllabus Class I to Degree as Member of Board of Studies, Academic Council and Senate of Universities in the state. In appreciation of his untiring efforts in developing the college into one of excellence in the entire state, Municipality of Jaggaiahpet where he worked for 22 years as founder principal of a Degree College honored him by developing a park in the town after his name. The State Government conferred on him the “Best Teacher award”, which he received from Dr. N.T Rama Rao, the then Chief Minister of A.P. The Nagarjuna University nominated him as a member of Syndicate of the University, which gave him an opportunity for introducing student friendly reforms in the University administration. He’s an Author of several textbooks in Mathematics, which were well received by students and teachers.

After retirement in 2000, while others added years to life, he has been adding life to years. He is spending his time, energy and resources for the cause of betterment of life of Sr. Citizens in the country. He has been advocating with the State and Central Governments for the legitimate rights of Senior citizens as enshrined in the NPOP, 1999 and Maintenance and welfare of parents and Sr.citizens act 2007. He was instrumental in arranging seminars, workshops etc. on health and nutrition for elders, elder abuse etc as secretary/ President of Association of Senior Citizens of Hyderabad which was adjudged as the best urban Senior Citizen facility in the entire county by AISCCON in 2004.

Government of Andhra Pradesh conferred on him a State Award during World Elders Day in 2007. He was largely responsible for the unification of Sr.citizen Associations in Andhra Pradesh and for the formation of an Apex Body namely Andhra Pradesh Sr.Citizens Confederation in 2008 for which he was unanimously elected as its founder Secretary General. Later he became it’s Associate President for two terms. He was Vice-President of AISCCON (2010-13) and as Convener of several committees, he contributed his best for the well being of elders. He was on the delegation that met then chairperson of UPA, Smt Sonia Gandhi. She promised a few of our demands which were reflected in the National budget of 2011.

Apart form working for the welfare of the indigent senior citizens he is a philanthropist who gives away a major part of his pension for, supporting the activities intended for the welfare of Senior Citizens such as Old Age Homes. It is amazing that he also exerts physically by travelling extensively (spending his own money), to attend to all the meetings and duties connected with the senior citizens welfare. In appreciation of his untiring efforts for the wellbeing of Senior Citizens several associations in the state honored him profusely. He was honored APAMT, Praja Alachona Vedika, etc. He received “Gurajada Bhujanga Rao Award” for the best father by Tygaraja Gana Sabha, Hyderabad.

He contributes regularly articles, letters and essays to print media for publication and participates in seminars and group discussions in electronic media on problems of senior citizens and old age homes. As President of RTC Colony welfare association, he was able to get all facilities to the colony such as drinking water, underground drainage, and cement roads etc. costing Rs. 82 lakh from GHMC. The grateful residents honored him on Independence day in 2012.

Some of the achievements such as landmark judgment on Human Rights of Senior Citizens in old age homes by State Human Rights Commission, starting of generic medicines outlets, formation of Lok Adalat bench for Senior Citizens in A.P are due to his persistent efforts with the concerned officials and public.

During 2013 Apart from holding prestigious posts at State and Central level, which involves lot of correspondence and travel, he has taken up two more important assignments, which involves continuous planning and supervision. He is running a charitable old age home for destitute and abandoned elders and constructed a new block to accommodate 25 more persons at a cost of Rs. 40 lakh with the contributions of philanthropic public. APSCCON entered an MOU with the State Government and started several generic medicines outlets in the state. He is the Chairman of Generic medicines outlet at Osmania General Hospital which sells generic medicines at 1/3rd of MRP. During last 14 months 1.5 Lakh patients purchased 1.56 Cr worth of Generic medicines and they were financially benefitted to the extent of Rs4.02 Cr, which means 11 Lakh patients enjoy a saving of Rs 30Lakh every month.

Last year as Chairman of Jeevandhara, he conducted seminars for creating awareness on Generic medicines in the public and medical camps in slum areas in the city. He donated a sum of Rs. 8 lakh to Osmania General Hospital for purchase of equipment in the Geriatric ward to be established shortly. This speaks of his passion for working for the welfare of Sr. Citizens and the general public at large.

As president of Mata Pitrula Seva Sadanam (Old Age home for poor and abandoned seniors), he has saved many poor destitute senior citizens from the jaws of death due to poverty and illness.

It is amazing that at his advanced age in eighties, he continues to work with passion consistently for the welfare of his society particularly helpless and indigent senior citizens. He’s a firm believer in the saying “They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.” –Swami Vivekananda and Mother Theresa’s philosophy of “Helping Hands are far better than praying lips.” 

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