Mangaluru, July 02, 2016: The 157th birth anniversary of local social reformer Kudmul Ranga Rao (1859-1928) was observed in the city recently. On the occasion, Mangaluru Mayor K Harinath said Ranga Rao strove for the betterment of dalits. A road has been named after him and a plan is on the cards to name a permanent facility after him.
Delivering a lecture on Ranga Rao, Transport Department former officer Dr Keshava Dharani said K Ranga Rao stood for self-respect of dalit community and laid a path for the development of dalits. Mahatma Gandhi, during his visit to Mangaluru, had appreciated this work, he added.
He said though Ranga Rao was a Konkani Saraswath Brahmin, he opened 20 schools to provide education to dalit children and strove for the welfare of dalits. In pre independence days, he provided mid-day meals to the children in these schools.
Also, he married off his daughter Radhabai to a dalit, though he was kept out from his own community for this reason. Dr Dharani said Ranga Rao had written in his will that people belonging to Koti community should perform his last rites as he regretted that he was not able to work for them.
He said Ranga Rao was instrumental in providing political reservation to dalits in Town Municipal Council and the erstwhile district board.
Dr Dharani said the state government has reserved Rs 1 crore towards the construction of memorial of Ranga Rao and added that the department concerned should implement the programmes effectively.
DK Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar, Deputy Director of Social Welfare Department Dr G Santhosh Kumar, MUDA Chairman Ibrahim Kodijal, Zilla Panchayat Deputy Secretary Umesh N R and Dakshina Kannada district Kannada Sahitya Parishat President Pradeep Kumar Kalkura were present.