In this episode of Gurukuladali Badukina Hadi, Yathi Raj Naidu reveals his life story.
Born in a poor family, Naidu grew up to become a compassionate social worker. In 2012, he founded the Karnataka Nava Nirmana Sene. One of the causes closest to his heart is the burying of orphan dead bodies, along with observing all the formal rituals on the first and the third days.
Naidu has struggled through a lot of difficulties; his father was a freedom fighter who was sent to jail, after which his mother worked as a housemaid and made agarbhathi (incense sticks) to feed her nine children. They didn’t have proper clothes to wear and would go to school wearing torn garments. Everyone used to make fun of him and make him sit away from them. One day, when he was not able to control his hunger, he went to a burial ground and ate the food that had been laid out as part of rituals.
His family was unable to pay the one-rupee-fifteen-paise that was his school fee, which prompted the school to throw him out. One of his teachers helped him out and he was able to rejoin the school. He studied till the VII standard but paying the Rs. 30 fees required for studies till the X standards proved to be difficult again.
In spite of all the impediments, the days went by. But, a young Naidu always harboured doubts as to why his family was never invited to any functions. His main motivation for the invite was to be able to go and eat good food to his heart’s content, but that never happened. Luckily, one day, his friends took him to a wedding, but when he sat down to eat, he was thrown out from the venue. His search for food, thus, saw no end and he continued to eat the food available at burial grounds.
Naidu’s payback for this has been that whenever an orphan dead body is identified at Victoria Hospital, he recieves a call and is then registered as the guardian. He takes care of all the last rituals from there on. Life seems to have come a full circle for him.
Written by Ramya Gowda K.