Dhanvanthi Rama Rau

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The Third International Conference, Bombay, 1952 held by Family Planning Association India. Avabai Wadia (reading message), Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Dhanvanthi Rama Rau, Margaret Sanger.

Dhanvanthi, Lady Rama Rau (1893–1987) was founder and president of the Family Planning Association of India. She was married to Sir Benegal Rama Rau, the noted civil servant, and was the mother of Santha Rama Rau, the writer.


Dhanvanthi was born into a Kashmir Brahmin family as Dhanvanthi Handoo, born and brought up in Hubli (now in Karnataka) and was therefore conversant with Kannada. After schooling in Hubli, she moved to Madras to join the Presidency College, from where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in arts.

In Madras, she met and married the distinguished economist and diplomat Sir Benegal Rama Rau a Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin and a south Indian from a distinguished family.[1]Dhanvanthi served as president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, against opposition from Margaret Sanger.[2] She was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian Government in 1959.[3] Her memoirs have been published under the title An Inheritance.


  1. ^ "Dhanvanthi Rama Rau (1893–1987)". StreeShakti. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ http://editorsnotes.org/projects/sanger/notes/232/
  3. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.