S R Venkataraman

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S. R. Venkataraman
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Born(1897-03-14)March 14, 1897
DiedDecember 30, 1985(1985-12-30) (aged 88)
OccupationSocial worker

Singanallur Ramakrishnan Venkataraman (14 March 1897 – 30 December 1985) was an Indian social worker. He had an illustrious career in social service. He served as the President of the Servants of India Society, a society founded by Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1905 mainly to further education and social reform in India. S.R. Venkataraman dedicated his life to serving India’s rural and tribal communities in the spirit envisaged by Gokhale and carried forward by Gokhale’s protégé and his own mentor V. S. Srinivasa Sastri.

During his long stint in the Madras branch of the society, operating out of Royapettah, he worked for the cause of youth education, child welfare, women’s welfare, backward communities, and other social issues.

Early Life, Education and Career

After schooling in Coimbatore, Venkataraman took his B.L degree in 1924 and joined the bar at Coimbatore in 1925. He was drawn towards public service through the clarion calls of Gandhiji, Gopala Krishna Gokhale, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri and Annie Besant. He met N.M. Joshi and G.K. Deodhar, members of the Servants of India Society when they visited Coimbatore and this was a turning point in his life. He left the bar after five years of practice and joined the Society in 1929, serving for 56 years. He joined as a probationer was elected its President in 1978, taking over the mantle from veteran parliamentarian Sri H.N. Kunzru. Throughout his life in service, he dedicated himself to causes such as child welfare, women’s welfare, tribal welfare and education, housing for the poor in urban centres, and harijan upliftment.

Career Highlight

He was associated with several prominent bodies and institutions committed to social service. A few posts he held are listed below: President, Servants of India Society, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (ex officio), T.R. Swaminathan Birth Centenary Committee. Vice President of Guild of Service Vice President, Indian council of Social Welfare
Vice President, Indian Council of Child Welfare
Vice President, Indian Council of World Affairs
Secretary of Depressed Classes Mission, Mangalore, Madras Sanitary Welfare League
Assistant Secretary of Madras Vigilance Association
Harijan Sevak Sangh, New Delhi

Service in Education: Venkataraman oversaw schools in remote areas near Ooty for the Todas (tribal community) and in Mallapuram for the Mappila Muslims. He organized regular debates on social issues for youth and also had a huge collection of books which was open to the public.

In English:
• Annual issues of the writings of Gokhale and Sastri respectively in Gokhaleana, Sastriana (see, for example, review in Swarajya December 1962.[1])
• Harijans through the Ages
• Two South Indian Tribes[2]
• Temple Entry Legislation – Reviewed with Acts and Bills[3]
In Tamil:
• A Book of Songs and Yells
• Dr. Annie Besant
• Hand Pounded Rice and Mill Rice[4]
• Life of Grandpa Gandhiji
• Mahadeo Govind Ranade
• Nehru’s Letters to his daughter (a translation)
• Tribals of India
• What is Indian Scouting

Besides these he was a regular contributor of articles, letters, and reviews to The Hindu, Indian Express, The Mail, Sunday Times, Dinamani, Swadeshamitran, Indian Review, Social Service Quarterly and other publications[5] [6].

Personal life

Venkataraman married K.S. Kaveri and had two daughters and one son with her. His elder daughter Dr. Rajalakshmi, retired as Professor of Pathology from Stanley Medical College while his younger daughter Hemavathi, who was an accomplished Carnatic vocalist, died when she was in her thirties. His son S.V. Ramakrishnan retired as DGM from NABARD. Venkataraman's birth centenary was celebrated on March 14, 1997 in Chennai with Justice S. Mohan and N. Ram as Chief Guests. A commemoration volume containing articles on Venkataraman was released on the occasion; the event was supported by the Government of India (Ministry of Tourism and Culture)[7]


  1. Rajagopalan, K V (December 1962). "V. S. Sastri's Early Writing" (PDF). Swarajya link under whitelist review. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  2. Venkataraman, S R (1955). Two South Indian Tribes. p. 24.
  3. Venkataraman, S R (1946). Temple Entry Legislation - reviewed with Acts and Bills (PDF). Chennai: Bharat Devi Publications. p. 128. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  4. Venkataraman, S R (1941). Hand Pounded Rice and Mill Rice (link to library of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka ed.). Chennai: Chennai Alliance Company. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  5. Venkataraman, S R. "Villiars of Chingleput District". Indian Journal of Social Work (published by Tata Institute of Social Sciences). Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  6. Venkataraman, S R (July 1967). "Vajapeyam Venkatasubbaiah". Public Affairs (published by Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs). XI (7): 164–168.
  7. Kumar, Ananth. "Parliament Un-starred Question 4005 dated 18/8/2000" (PDF). NIC India. Parliament of India Library. Retrieved 13 July 2022.

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