THE FOUNDER AND HIS MISSION
Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju was born on May, 6, 1898 at Kopalle village, Bhimavaram Taluk to the noblest couple Sri Dantuluri Bapi Raju and Smt Subbayamma. He spent his early days of childhood at the house of his maternal uncle Sri Sagi Bapi Raju, at Chinaamiram. Due to the initiative taken by his uncle, he enjoyed the good fortune of mastering ‘Pancha Kavyas’ in Sanskrit under the masterly guidance of Sri Dintyala Sarveswara Sastry of Pedaamiram besides striving to attain proficiency in English language under Sri Madduri Sarveswara Sastry, Bhimavaram.
PARTICIPATION IN FREEDOM MOVEMENT
The spirit of patriotism nurtured in the deepest of his heart got him attracted to the call given by Mahatma Gandhi by joining in the freedom struggle even in the early days of his life. His uncompromising love for the freedom made him a member in Indian National Congress in the year 1919 and during the same year he enjoyed the privilege of participating All India Congress conference held at Ahmadabad representing from West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. Political career initiated thus made him to actively participate in the non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi during the year 1920.
In the year 1930 due to his active participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement as a part of freedom struggle, he was arrested and sent to Cannanore Jail as an “a” class prisoner for one year. There he enjoyed the association of the greatest personalities like Dr. C.Rajagopalachari, Dr.Pattabhi Sitaramaiah and many others. Again during the year 1932, when he was arrested and sent ot Rayavellore jail, he associated himself with personalities like Sri Raghava Menon and others. He engaged hemself during the period of imprisonment to productively make use of the opportunity provided and this helped him learning many other languages such as Tamil, Bengali and Hindi besides improving his caliber in English. During the year 1942, his active participation in ‘Quit India Movement’ inspired many of the youth of these parts to join him for the cause of freedom and as a token of appreciation he did all the best to help his supporters during the freedom struggle.
PUBLIC LIFE AS A POLITICIAN
During the period 1921-1934 he served as Bhimavaram Taluk Board Chairman. The said period was regarded as most crucial in his political career. In this period, he spared all his time for realization of basic infrastructure facilities to many villages in his jurisdiction as Board of Chairman.
The facilities created mainly include :
- Construction of link roads to villages
- Creation of drinking water sources in villages
- Construction of hospitals to offer free medical aid and
- Opening of Board Schools in almost all the villages.
In an irrigation scheme undertaken during his tenure of office as Board of Chairman, 12 villages including Kalipatnam enjoyed the drinking water facilities besides irrigation to about 6000 acres of agricultural land. Similarly, in a different irrigation scheme proposed, he could offer drinking water facilities to about 10 villages including Vemuladeevi besides bringing about 8 thousand acres of waste banjar land for productive agricultural use. This has really changed the life style of agriculturists of these parts bringing glory to the public spiritedness exhibited by Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju.
PIONEERING EFFORTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju laid emphasis throughout his life for the cause of promoting facilities in higher education. The reason being that he could not go for higher education due to conspicuous absence of facilities for such higher education in these parts. As a result, he undertook the mission of filling this gap to help children of these parts to get the access for higher education. His efforts have been realized on July 4, 1945 by starting West Godavari Bhimavaram College in Bhimavaram with the kind cooperation extended by all those who appreciated the purpose of the mission. Sri C.R.Reddy, the then Vice Chancellor, Andhra University laid his golden hands to make the opening of the W.G.B. College. The dedicated will of the founder of this college Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju., backed by the unconditional support extended by like minded personalities in these parts brought laurels to the great institution at all India level as an outstanding complex of educational institutions offering facilities for quality education ranging from K.G. to Ph.D levels. Today, the horizontal and vertical growth witnessed by these institutions bear ample testimony to the noblest ideals cherished by Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju.
After the realization of his desire to start a college in these parts, efforts were also made by Sri D.N.R. to start a high school and as a result S.Ch.B.R.M. High School came into existence with the generous and philanthropic contribution extended by Sri Chintalapati Vara Prasada Murthy Raju in memory of his father Sri Bapi Raju. Further, his desire to offer more facilities for education also enabled him to start high schools at Yandagandi, Uppuluru and Kopalle.
Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju always strived his best to rescue those in distress and his social concern for the fellow beings won the admiration of many in these parts. As a Humanist he made charitable contributions to many for their educational needs besides helping the deserving poor to perform marriages to their children. He never forgot the selfless sacrifices made by his followers and as token of gratitude he strived his best to give economic uplift to those who richly deserve his help.
His significant contribution in getting the status of the Bhimavaram Panchayat to that of a Municipality in the year 1948 can never be forgotten by people of Bhimavaram. Besides, his efforts for the construction of a bridge across Yanamadurru drain helped in magnificent development of the town as may be witnessed by every one today and later it was named after D.N.R. simultaneously he is, instrumental in getting a Foot Bridge on Yanamadurru drain constructed near Govt. Hospital for easy movement of school/college going children.
MEMBER OF LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
He contested Legislative Assembly elections from Undi segment in the year 1952 and won. He served as Legislative Assembly Member in the Composite Madras State from 1952-1955.
Further, he held several coveted positions, viz.,
- Senate Member, Andhra University (1948-1955)
- State Irrigation advisory Board Member (1948-1952)
- Member, State Road Transport Authority (1949-1951)
- Honorary Correspondent, Madras Museum (1950-1952)
He strive hard to see that in every assignment undertaken by him rich values are preserved to enhance his stature which ultimately established him as an integrated personality lived throughout for realization of the noblest ideals. He left his physical body to reach the heavenly abode on May 7, 1964 leaving his supporters in grief. However, the ideals set by him stood as a source of inspiration to those dedicated for the cause of promoting higher education