|Religion||Jain Bunt, Kshatriya|
|Other names||Heggade/Pergade, Dharmarathna, Dharmabhushana|
25 November 1948|
(now in Karnataka, India)
|Based in||Dharmastala, Karnataka, India|
|Period in office||1968 - present|
|Predecessor||Dharmadhikari Ratnavarma Heggade|
|Post||Dharmadhikari(Hereditary administrator) of Dharmasthala Temple|
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D. Veerendra Heggade (born 25 November 1948) is a philanthropist and the hereditary administrator/Dharmadhikari of the Dharmasthala Temple. He succeeded to the post at the age of 20, on 24 October 1968, the 21st in his line. He administers the temple and its properties, which are held in trust for the benefit of devotees and of Dharma
Heggade was born the eldest son of Dharmadhikari Ratnavarma Heggade and Rathnamma Heggade (née Shetty). He belongs to the Pergade dynasty of Tulu Lineage, the hereditary trustees of the famous Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy temple in South Kanara district of Karnataka. The family are trustees of a Hindu temple, although the family are of the Jain religion. They belong to the Digambara Jain. He has three younger brothers, Harshendra Kumar, Surendra Kumar and Rajendra Kumar, and a sister, Padmalata. He married Hemavathi Heggade in a match arranged by their parents. Veerendra Heggade and Hemavathy Heggadthi are the parents of daughter Shraddha.
As the eldest son, Veerendra Heggade succeeded his father as Dharmadhikari. He is the twenty-first member of the Pergade dynasty to hold the position of Dharmadhikari of the Dharmasthala Temple. As he has no sons, his heir is his younger brother, Harshendra.
Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade is a car collector and photography aficionado. His car collection is on display in Dharmastala.
Works and contributions
As Dharmadhikari, he has continued the traditions of the institution:
- He continued the tradition of the Kshetra to hold annual ‘Sarva Dharma and Sahitya Sammelana’ at Dharmasthala. The 85th Session of the Sammelana was held in 2017.
Heggade has reached beyond his administrative role:
- He is a patron of Art and Literature.
- He publishes a publication series and a monthly journal Manjuvani.
- To propagate Naturopathy, Yoga and Moral Education, 400 Teachers of High Schools and Primary Schools train more than 30,000 students every year in Yoga, Moral and Spiritual Education.
- He contributed to the revival of Yakshagana by maintaining pure traditional approach.
- Manjusha is a Museum that displays rare collections of antiques and contemporary rare and valuable collections. A Vintage Car Museum attached to this Museum has vehicles from many Nations.
- 4000 Palm-leaf manuscripts are preserved and research is conducted by Scholars for "Sri Manjunatheshwara Samskrithi Samshodhana Prathistana"
- He offered a Free Mass Marriage every year in Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala since 1972. 10,000 couples had been wedded under this scheme by April 2004.
- He constructed marriage halls at Bangalore, Kallahalli, Bhadravathi, Mysore, Shravanabelagola and Bantwal for the benefit of middle and low-income people.
- He introduced a rural development project, in the Coastal District of Karnataka, comprising 600 villages and six urban towns. The project facilitates empowerment of 1,350,000 families in agriculture, transfer of technology, women empowerment, housing, alternative sources of energy, income generating activity, micro finance, education and health.
- He has been promoted the importance of solar energy and provided facilities to several villages.
- He established the Rural Development and Self-Employment Training Institute (RUDSETI) in collaboration with Syndicate Bank, Syndicate Agricultural Foundation and Canara Bank to train rural un-youth for Self-Employment and Volunteers for Rural Development in 1982. Since then 20 branches of the RUDSETI have arisen across India. Up to June 2004, 1,500,000 youths have been trained and the employment rate is 65%.
- He hosted national seminars including the one on "Rural India Real India" to mark Syndicate Bank's diamond jubilee.
- He introduced Post graduate course at Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College, Ujire.
- He started SDMIMD College Mysore which evolved into a top Business college in India.
- He started Rathnamanasa, a model hostel with training in Agriculture, Horticulture, Dairying and a concept of future farmers and citizens for high school boys at Ujire.
- He started Sri Siddavana Gurukula, a model hostel for college students at Ujire to inspire students in agriculture, moral education and training in leadership programmes.
- He is the President of SDM Educational Society, Ujire, which manages educational institutions from primary to engineering, medical, ayurvedic and management institutes as well as hospitals.
- Heggade supported preserving Tuluva culture and heritage.
Awards and honours
- Padma Bhushan Award (2000) for social work and Communal Harmony (India's third-highest award)
- Padma Vibhushan Award (2000) (India's second highest civilian award)
- Rajarshi title from president of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1993
- The State Government selected Heggade for Karnataka Ratna title for 2009
- P. V. Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister of India presented Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce award for Rural Development activities in Belthangady Taluk by S.K.D.R.D.P. on 12 May 1995
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India presented Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce award for Rural Development & Self Employment activities by RUDSET Institute on 20 November 1999
- "Vatika Varshada Kannadiga – 2004" by ETV Kannada at Hassan on 20 November 2004
- Padma Vibhushan (2015) by the Government of India for social work
- Long, Roger D.; Wolpert, Stanley A. (2004). Charisma and Commitment in South Asian History. Orient Blackswan. p. 369. ISBN 978-81-250-2641-9.
- "Mr.D.Veerendra Heggade". www.jainworld.com.
- [dead link]
- Rons Bantwal (11 October 2011). "Dharmadhikari Dr. D Veerendra Heggade Lauds Social Welfare of Bunts Sangh". Daijiworld. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "Profile of Padma Bhushan Dr. D.V Heggade". 15 September 2011 – via www.thehindu.com.
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "News18.com: CNN-News18 Breaking News India, Latest News Headlines, Live News Updates". News18.
- [dead link]
- Mangalore, Mangalore Today,. "Karnataka Ratna for Dharmadhikari, Dr Veerendra Heggade". mangaloretoday.com.
- "The Hindu : Karnataka / Hassan News : Veerendra Heggade given `Vatika Varshada Kannadiga' award". www.hindu.com.
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