Dr.Veerendra Heggade nominated to Rajya Sabha

6:01 PM, Thursday, July 7th, 2022

Mangaluru : D. Veerendra Heggade, philanthropist head of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala, is among four eminent persons nominated to the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday; the others being Olympic sprinter P.T. Usha, music composer Ilaiyaraaja, and screenwriter V. Vijayendra Prasad.

His nomination fills the void the coastal region of Karnataka has had in the Upper House. After the demise of senior Congress leader and former Union minister Oscar Fernandes on September 13, 2021, the coastal region did not have any representation in the Rajya Sabha.

Mr. Heggade was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

In his tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Shri Veerendra Heggade Ji is at the forefront of outstanding community service. I have had the opportunity to pray at the Dharmasthala temple and also witness the great work he is doing in health, education and culture. He will certainly enrich Parliamentary proceedings.”

He took over the reins of managing Manjunatha Swamy temple and the education institutes managed by the the Shree Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Education Trust at the age of 20, following the demise of his father and the hereditary administrator of the temple Ratnavarma Heggade.

The Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), a non-governmental organisation, founded by him, presently has 50 lakh members across the State in more than six lakh members. It is known for introducing micro-finance scheme to its members to help the rural economically poor sections of society.

He established the Rural Development and Self Employment Training Institute (RUDSETI) at Ujire, near Dharmasthala, to train rural youth on various skills to make them self reliant through self employment. Mr. Heggade is credited with leading various transformative initiatives for rural development. The Union government replicated this successful model and established Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) across the country.

The Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Education Society (SDME) presently provides education through more than 25 schools and colleges.

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