ANANTAPUR : Mude Ravi Naik of Chaviti Thanda in Kadiri mandal of Anantapur district is a small-time employee belonging to a tribal community but has a large heart that beats with a service motto. Poverty and losing his wife Lakshmi Devi Bai, whom he loved very much, at a very young age, saw this operator at an electric sub-station lend a helping hand to several people in distress and need.
Through his ‘Heart to Help Foundation’, he spends a part of his monthly salary for service activities in his native district of Anantapur, neighbouring Chittoor and several places in Hyderabad, where he works. Students, elderly people and those in need have received his help, when they required it the most. It is not just service to people, but he believes that service to nature is also important and strives for afforestation in his native Anantapur, which is in perpetual shadow of drought.
There is a sorry tale behind his ‘Heart to Help Foundation’ which is emotionally moving. Ravi Naik was born in poverty and when he was small, he used to take goats and sheep for grazing. He used to go to school only 10 days a month and the remaining 20 days, he used to be a shepherd or work as a daily wager to support his family.
However, he never dropped out of school and completed Class 10. He also completed ITI and got a job as an electrician in a private company and later joined as an operator at an electrical sub-station. He fell in love with his uncle’s daughter Lakshmi Devi Bai and married her. After they moved to Hyderabad, where he got the job, they had a son and a daughter.
When his daughter was three months old, his wife passed away due to medical complications. Ravi Naik says he could not afford the high cost of the treatment at that time and lost his wife. He did not want others to suffer the same fate as his, and in the loving memory of his wife, he started the NGO — Heart to Help Foundation.
His efforts saw Naik receiving Best Citizen Award from AP State Cultural Awareness Society in 2014, Swamy Vivekananda Excellency Award and All India Dalit Seva Award in 2016. He also received several other awards from local and State-level organisations.
A green crusader’s efforts to lift Anantapur out of drought
Understanding that drought leads to poverty and poverty leads to crimes like trafficking and unemployment, Ravi Naik decided to lend a helping hand in afforestation and every year before onset of monsoon, he makes it a point to distribute seeds for plantation in dwindling forest areas and encouraged those celebrating birthdays and marriage days to distribute saplings. “Only by increasing green cover, can there be regular rains, which will effectively address drought and several problems arising out of it,” he opined
Charity that knows no bounds
Using funds from his own pocket and donations given by others, Ravi Naik helps the students and elderly people, who are neglected by their families. He distributes footwear, plates, glasses, plastic mats, notebooks and bags to the students, blankets to the poor and walkers, wheelchairs and walking sticks to the differently abled. Every year, he makes it a point to distribute umbrellas to cobblers on roadside