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Hanumappa Sudarshan

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Dr Hanumappa Sudarshan born 30 December 1950 is an Indian social worker and tribal rights activist He is well known for his contributions to the upliftment of the forest dwelling tribes mainly Soligas in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka He is also a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the Padma Shri


  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Career
    • 21 Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra VGKK
    • 22 Karuna Trust
    • 23 Positions held
  • 3 Awards
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 External links

Early life and education

Sudarshan was born in Yemalur on the outskirts of Bangalore He graduated from Bangalore Medical College and became a medical doctor in the year 1973 He is also an Adjunct Professor at IGNOU


After graduation, he joined the charitable health institutions of Ramakrishna Mission which took him to the Himalayas of Uttar Pradesh, Belur Math in West Bengal and Ponnampet in Karnataka as part of the job Instead of pursuing a medical practice in the cities, he decided to work with tribal communities and in 1980, he started the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra for the integrated development of the tribals in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka He is also the founder and Honorary Secretary of the Karuna Trust, which is dedicated to rural development in the states of Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh He claims inspiration from the man-making and nation-building ideals of Swami Vivekananda He advocates Gandhian ideals for rural development

Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra VGKK

VGKK is an organisation with a mission of Sustainable development of tribal people through rights-based approaches to health, education, livelihood security and biodiversity conservation Founded in October 1981 by Dr Sudarshan, VGKK has worked with tribals in the Chamarijanagar district and Mysore district of Karnataka and also with tribals in the states of Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and has interacted with about 20,000 people The organisation has always had a tribal youth as its President Jadeya Gowda, one of the first few children who was taught by Dr Sudarshan, is the President He did a graduation and post-graduation in agriculture and is doing his PhD at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

VGKK runs a 450 pupil school for the tribes of B R Hills where the students are provided education equivalent to that provided in the urban areas Subjects related to the tribal welfare such as environmental issues, tribal values and culture are also a part of the curriculum VGKK also has a vocational training institute where 16 crafts are taught As a result of the efforts of VGKK, about 60% of the Soliga tribe now get a minimum of 300 days of employment per year from the Forest Department of Karnataka and other agencies VGKK also has a system of co-operatives which employ the tribals directly and it has also made an effort towards sustainable extraction of non-timber products and creation of tribal enterprises to process them

VGKK is an established voluntary agency recognised by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India

Karuna Trust

Started in the year 1986 by Dr Sudarshan, Karuna Trust India is an organisation involved with integrated rural development and is affiliated to VGKK The prevalence of leprosy in Yelandur Taluk of Chamarajanagar district was the motivation to start this trust Another focus area for this trust is education and livelihood improvement Karuna Trust runs 72 Primary Health Care PHC Centres in all the districts of the state of Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh The organisation promotes Public Private Partnership with NGOs on a non-profit basis to achieve primary health care

Positions held

Dr Sudarshan has held many positions in his career, prominent among them being, the chairmanship of the Task Force on Health and Family Welfare organised by Government of Karnataka, the Task Force on Public Private Partnership organised by National Rural Health Mission NRHM of Government of India and Institute of Health management & Research IHMR, Bangalore He was also associated as a member of Working Group 6 on Macro-economics & Health organised by the World Health Organization and was also a Steering Group member of the Planning Commission on the Empowerment of Scheduled Tribes in India's 11th Five Year Plan He has also been the Vigilance Director for the Karnataka Lokayukta, an ombudsman organisation During his tenure, he adopted a method of regular visits and raids to several Government departments and earned critical acclaim for this


  • Right Livelihood Award 1994, for showing how tribal culture can contribute to a process that secures the basic rights and fundamental needs of indigenous people and conserves their environment
  • Padma Shri Award 2000
  • Rajyotsava State Award for social work 1984 – Government of Karnataka
  • Ashoka Fellow
  • Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice in 2014


  • To eliminate disease you have to remove poverty The only way to do that, I have realised, is to organise the people for their rights
  • The so-called civilised society has a lot to learn from the tribals
  • Corruption is at various levels: In medical education, starting from joining the medical college — you can buy a seat, you can buy the examiner, the examination system, you can buy the question papers This is much less now with the University trying to bring in some reforms, but still, in the viva-voce and practical, many people continue to pay and pass; we are not sure if we have plugged that
  • There are no pills for poverty

See also

  • Right Livelihood Award
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Prakash Amte


  1. ^ a b Bio-data of Dr Sudarshan from the website of Karuna Trust DOC
  2. ^ a b c Roll of Honour for Dr Sudarshan on his receiving the Right Livelihood Award is presented by "Roll of Honour" Online Webpage of the Right Livelihood Awards Organisation Right Livelihood Awards Organisation Retrieved 17 April 2007 
  3. ^ a b c d A biography of Dr Sudarshan is provided by "Dr H Sudarshan" Online Webpage of Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana KendraVGKK 2006, Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra Archived from the original on 8 February 2007 Retrieved 17 April 2007 
  4. ^ a b c A biodata of Dr Sudarshan is presented by "Bio-data" PDF Online Webpage of the Institute of Health Systems Institute of Health Systems Archived from the original PDF on 9 October 2007 Retrieved 17 April 2007 
  5. ^ Urs, R "On an untrodden path" The Hindu, Bangalore, 26 August 2005
  6. ^ Overview of Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra is provided by "Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra" Online Webpage of the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra 2006, Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra Retrieved 17 April 2007 
  7. ^ Overview of Karuna trust is provided by "Karuna Trust" Online Webpage of the Karuna Trust 2006, Karuna Trust Retrieved 17 April 2007 
  8. ^ Lokayukta's surprise visits "Article on Lokayukta raids" From website of Our Karnataka Archived from the original on 29 October 2007 Retrieved 22 October 2007 
  9. ^ Profile of Dr Sudarshan on the Ashoka Fellows Website LINK
  10. ^ "Harmony Foundation to host Mother Teresa awards on Nov 9" dna Diligent Media Corporation Ltd 8 November 2014 Retrieved 11 November 2014 
  11. ^ "Mother Teresa Awards given to promoters of social justice" Catholic News Agency Retrieved 14 December 2014 
  12. ^ Interview with Dr Sudarshan by "Public health being revamped" Online webpage of IndiaTogetherorg, June 2002 IndiaTogetherorg Retrieved 17 April 2007 

External links

  • Website of the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra
  • Website of Karuna Trust

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