Mangaluru: Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade has been nominated as a Rajya Sabha Member as one of the representatives of South Indian states on Wednesday July 6.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated and welcomed Veerendra Heggade to Rajyasabha. PM tweeted, “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.”
Dr. Veerendra Heggade is the Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Temple. He was awarded with Padma Vibhushan on 2015, and Karnatak University honoured him by presenting Doctorate in 2010.
Veerendra Heggade has been serving as the Dharmadhikari of the Dharmasthala Temple in Karnataka since the tender age of 20. He has been a devoted philanthropist for more than five decades. He has led various transformative initiatives for rural development and promotion of self-employment. He established the Rural Development and Self-Employment Training Institute (RDSETI) to provide awareness about self-employment opportunities and train rural youth. The central government replicated this successful model and established Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) across the country. He has also conceptualised the Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project, an initiative for inclusive rural development and self-employment in Karnataka. Currently, the project has more than 6 lakh SHGs and over 49 lakh members. He also heads the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Educational Trust, which provides quality and affordable education through more than 25 schools and colleges.
Apart from these, he has led numerous initiatives for providing access to quality healthcare, social welfare, and preserving our cultural heritage. He has shown the world how service and spirituality merge beautifully.
Composer Ilaiyaraaja from Tamil Nadu, Athlete P. T. Usha from Kerala, and Screenwriter-Director V. Vijayendra Prasad from Andhra Pradesh were others who were nominated as Rajya Sabha members. The four nominated representatives represent four South Indian states with Heggade representing Karnataka.