3rd Yudhvir Memorial Award
Late Mrs. Kumudini Devi
For outstanding service for the relief of leprosy patients. Mr. B.P.R Vithal, Member, Tenth Finance Commission
Shrimati Kumudini Devi was born in 1911 and belongs to a respectable landed family of Hyderabad.
She entered politics and served as a Councilor in the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) from 1955-64. In 1962 she became the mayor of Hyderabad. From 1962 for a decade she was a member of Legislative Assembly of AP.
Unlike most people who make social service a ladder to political power, Shrimati Kumudini Devi’s journey was in the reverse direction and after 1962 she devoted herself wholly to social service. From the beginning she was interested in social service. In 1958 she founded a rehabilitation home for leprosy patients and called it Sivananda Rehabilitation Home after her spiritual preceptor, Swami Sivananda. It had a capacity of 50 persons only.
In 1976, the Special Officer of MCH offered to merge the Municipal Home for leprosy patients with the Sivananda Rehabilitation Home and to pool their resources. The aim was not only to get rid of the city of leper-beggars but also to provide for them suitable opportunities for development and growth.
The capacity of the Home was accordingly increased and the services were expanded. Decent residential accommodation was also provided by the Corporation. It is a commendable instance of cooperation between MCH and a private organization.
In 1979 an Urban Leprosy Control Project covering a population of 5,00,000 was started in the city with support from the German Leprosy Relief Association. Dr. August Beine, a German, joined the Home in 1981 as Chief Medical Officer. So far he has performed 4500 surgical operations.
Apart from rendering medical care & treatment, the Home provides the inmates occupational and vocational training facilities with a view to enable them to rehabilitate themselves.
The Home has a 200 bed referral hospital with facilities like physiotherapy, reconstructive surgery, ortho workshop, cobblery section, X-ray and clinical labs. Patients are referred not only from AP, but also from Karnataka and Maharashtra. The hospital also has airconditioned operation theatres.
It also treats out-patients. In 1993 alone, 3500 out-patients were treated.
A population of 9 lakh in the twin cities is allotted to the Home under the Urban Leprosy Control Unit of the Government of India. A rural population of 2 lakhs has also been allotted since 1990-91.
The children of the inmates are given free education in a school on the premises.
There is a workshop for training the inmates and loans are given to selected trainees to obtain self-employment.
The Sivananda Rehabilitation Home is an excellent institution and has set a good example for emulation.
Shrimati Kumudini Devi has by her perseverance, hard work and devotion, made this institution into a class by itself. She has inspired a number of people to join her in her endeavours for the amelioration of the conditions of the unfortunate victims of leprosy.
Through this Home is her main centre of activity, her unbounded enthusiasm and energy have found other outlets too. She is the chairperson of the Mother and Child Society, Sevasamajam Balika Nilayam and Chudamani Vruddha Ashram. Besides she is a trustee of the Nizamia Women Educational Trust. She has also served on the Board of TTD and governing body of Hyderabad Public School.
By her sustained, sincere & untiring work, Shrimati Kumudini Devi has brought cheer to a large number of families. By her self-less work she has set a shining example for others. The institution she has established and nurtured is as much the pride of the city as Charminar.
In recognition of her outstanding social service, the trustees of the Yudhvir Foundation have great pleasure and pride in conferring the Third Annual Award on Shrimati Kumudini Devi and wish her long life and health to enable her to continue her noble work.