TIRUPATI: Noted social worker and Rashtriya Seva Samithi founder general secretary G Muniratnam was named as one of the recipients of Padma Shri awards, which were announced on Wednesday.
Speaking to Express over telephone, Muniratnam said the award is a recognition for the dedicated services provided by RASS volunteers more than himself.
“Even though they are getting very little honorarium, hundreds of volunteers are working in a dedicated manner for the benefit of the society and success of the programme.
If not for them, we will not be in the position we are today,” he added.
Stating that the award has a special place for him, Muniratnam said, “In the last three decades, we have taken up several programmes.
We were the first to start an Integrated Child Development Service programme, which has been running successfully for 27 years.” Gutta Muniratnam was born to Rangaiah Naidu and Mangamma in Seethapuram village of Tiruvalur mandal in 1936.
He was brought up in Tirutani and completed his schooling there.
In 1970, he came and settled in the temple town of Tirupati.
An active participant in social work since his school days, Muniratnam was a close follower of NG Ranga and social activist Rajagopal Naidu.
In 1981, he along with Rajagopal started the Rayalaseema Seva Samithi.
With its activities spreading far and wide, it was later renamed as Rashtriya Seva Samithi.
Muniratnam is also the president of Akhil Bharat Rachanatmak Samaj (an umbrella organisation for Gandhian institutions and Sarvodaya workers, founded by the late Dr Nirmala Deshpande).
He is also vice-president of the All India Harijan Sevak Sangh (founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932) and also holds several positions in other organizations and government committees.