Melukote: Freedom fighter, Gandhian, promoter of Khadi movement and Founder of Janapada Seva Trust Surendra Koulagi (83) passed away last night due to age-related illness at a private hospital in Mysuru.
He leaves behind his sons Santosh Koulagi and Sugosh Koulagi and a host of relatives, friends and followers.
His wife Girija Koulagi predeceased him last year.
Last rites were held here today at Hosa Jeevana Dhari Farm.
A recipient of Dasimayya Award in 2013 and Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 2014, Surendra Koulagi was born on Aug. 28, 1934 at Gudigeri in Dharwad District.
He jumped into freedom movement at the age of 10 and joining H. N. Hardikar’s Seva Dal, he continued his service to the nation by participating in Satyagrahas. He had personally witnessed Police atrocities on freedom fighters.
Surendra Koulagi met Socialist Jayaprakash Narayan in 1954 and became his Private Secretary. He also joined Vinoba Bhave in his Bhoodan Movement actively.
He came to Melukote in 1960 and started the Janapada Seva Trust, a voluntary organisation that has been serving society through need-based initiatives.
The Trust is involved in providing residential facilities for differently-abled rural children and in a unique women’s upliftment programme that identifies and enables those who want to complete their SSLC education.
“If people see good work being undertaken, why don’t they help…?,” was Surendra Koulagi’s oft repeated appeal.