Dhanvanthi Rama Rau
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Dhanvanthi, Lady Rama Rau (1893–1987) was founder and president of the Family Planning Association of India. She is perhaps better known as the wife of Sir Benegal Rama Rau, the noted civil servant, and the father of Santha Rama Rau, the writer.
Dhanvanthi was born into a Kashmir Brahmin family as Dhanvanthi Handoo. However, she was born and brought up in Hubli (now in Karnataka) and was therefore conversant with Kannada, her husband's language. 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. Her husband was a high-ranking civil servant and a member of the extremely elite Indian Civil Service, and it is to this circumstance that Dhanvanthi owes her own career as a social worker. She served as president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian Government in 1959, mainly for being a smart, confident, English-speaking woman with a strong personality. Her memoirs have been published under the title An Inheritance.
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