Monday, February 13, 2012


Damerla Venkata Ramayya – known as Dr.D.V.Rama Rao to the medical fraternity, Venkataram to his wife and Madurai Daddy, Doctor Uncle, Doctor Thathayya to his grandchildren was born in Berhampore in 1912 in the Ganjam district of Orissa. He is the youngest son of Damerla Durgaprasada Rao and Damerla Braharambica. He lost his father when he was five years old.

Like all children, he was extremely mischievous and gave his mother several anxious moments!!

He completed his high school studies from the Kallakota College in Berhampore, Intermediate from the AVN College at Vishakapatnam, MBBS from the Andhra Medical College,Visakhapatnam and Midwiferyand Gynecology from the Medical College at Madras.
In 1942 he married Savithri, the second daughter of Varaha GiriVenkata Giri and moved to Ambasamudram in the Tirunalveli district of Tamil Naduto work in the Harvey Mills as a doctor.

Harvey Mills/Madura Coats was to remain as his sole employer for the next 3 decades. He was extremely popular with the workers and staff of the mills and over the years built up a reputation of being a doctorwith a healing touch.

The world around him was changing rapidly. India got its independence in 1947. His father-in-law Shri V.V.Giri was in the forefront of the freedom struggle and subsequent to independence occupied many positions of power and eventually became the President of India. However, for the young doctor and his wife in Ambasamudram, the priority was bringing up their children and in some sense the political turmoil of those times left the family untouched. He was extremely diligent about ensuring that his family remained financially secure since he had seen his mother go through immense financial difficulty while bringing him and his two siblings up. His dream was to build his own house – which he accomplished in 1970 and “Sri Vinaya” became an indelible part of the lives of all his near and dear.

In the late fifties he moved to Madurai and became the Chief Medical Officer for the Madura Coats. Over the next decade his children married and then his grand children were born and he showered on each of them love and affection with the provision that he was never to be called ‘Tathayya” because he was not really that old (even now he claims that his heart is young and it is only his knees that have failed him!!).

M V Bangarayya

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