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‘Rajarshi’ PVRK Prasad The closer they went to him, the more they loved him. As a man of conviction, commitment, courage and vision, PVRK Prasad was a truly remarkable person who touched the lives of countless people in all walks of life in so many ways. The fact that thousands of people felt a genuine sense of loss at his passing is evidence of this fact. He was blessed with extraordinary interpersonal skills and a razor-sharp intellect. He was able to instantly connect with anyone he spoke to, whether it was a small child or the Prime Minister of India. He had the rare ability to quickly comprehend what a person was saying to him and to formulate a response even before that person finished talking. His professional accomplishments during his long and illustrious career as a highly regarded and respected IAS Officer, are legendary. In fact, his services as the Executive Officer (1978-82) of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) are recognized to this date and have become part of the local folklore. More than a dozen major projects implemented by TTD such as shelter over stairs-path to Tirumala hills, Nitya Annadaanam, Free transport in Tirumala, Annamaacharya project, Daasa Saahitya project, Vaikuntam Queue complex, Paapanaasanam Dam and so on, and good number of services like Special Kalyanotsava Seva, Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva, Melchat Sesha Vasthra Seva, Nijapaada Darshana Seva, Pushpa Yaagam and so on stand as mute testimony to his visionary execution. In other words, he left indelible marks of his passion and devotion in serving the Lord Srinivasa. During his brilliant and impeccable career, as Collector of Khammam district, Commissioner of Excise, Commissioner of Panchayat Raj, Chairman of Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Principal Secretary - Higher Education, Director General of HRD Institute and so on, he exhibited inimitable performance in every post that he held. His initiative as DG, MCR HRDI, led to establishment of Centre for Good Governance (CGG) in Hyderabad. As additional secretary and media advisor to the Prime Minister, he played a very key role behind the scenes when the nation was passing through a very crucial and transformative period during the tenure (1991-96) of P.V. Narasimha Rao. He was Narasimha Rao’s trusted confidant, and hence, was entrusted with the most sensitive assignments such as constitution of an apolitical trust for construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. He was a great people-person and institution-builder. He could have chosen a life of ease after retirement from government service. But he decided to devote his time and energy during his post-retirement years to numerous social and religious causes. His services as Advisor, TTD, and Chairman, Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust are most noteworthy in this regard. His master plan to bring together the religious heads of various streams of Hinduism under the auspices of TTD in order to bring about a spiritual renaissance and combat the onslaught of aggressive religious conversions was indeed commendable. He never took credit for any of his achievements. His always attributed his successto the Grace of his dear Lord Venkateswara. He recognized the intrinsic worth of every human being. Despite being a very senior and powerful government officer, he made it a point to always greet everyone affectionately regardless of position, including people such as his driver or a security guard. His amazing altruism, humility, sincerity, friendly disposition, cheerful attitude, sense of humor and his self-deprecating self-effacing style, endeared him to everyone who came into contact with him. The closer they went to him, the more they loved him. He was the epitome of a ‘Nishkaama Karma Yogi’. He was a humanist who went to great lengths to help anyone who approached him with genuine cause. He was a loving father and caring husband who taught his children how to face the challenges of life confidently, be helpful to everyone, be of service to society, and a good human being. His sudden demise at the age of 76 in August 2017 has left a huge void in the lives of his family members and those who had the privilege of crossing paths with him. Although he is not with us physically, he is very much with us in spirit. The best tribute that all of us can pay to him is to keep his legacy alive. A WhatsApp group, ‘Naham Karta’, promoted by young IT professionals who were his ardent fans, but couldn’t meet him till a few months before he passed away, is still carrying the spirit of PVRK Prasad. All his extensively sold books, ‘Naaham Karta, Harih Karta’, ‘Wheels behind the veil’, ‘Tirumala Leelamrutham’ and ‘Tirumala Charitamrutham’, can be read in PVRK’s FB account, blog and website maintained by this group. As president of TARANI he gave an immense thrust in laying excellent foundation for the organisation. His guidance and services are remembered for ever . The management committee has not only condoled his sudden demise but also instituted an Endowment to perpetuate his memory and every year young scholars in vedic education will be awarded financial support as it is more dearer to his heart.
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