Dr B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar
Dr B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar Born in an aristocratic family in the year 1944 in Samathur, a village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, he qualified himself as a barrister and later entered into business. But that apart, he came under the powerful influence of the spiritual masters and the great political leaders of India. The high ideals of Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi had a profound impact on him.
Even during his college days, he emerged as a student leader and came in direct contact with some of the great men in public life. Besides business he took active part in the promotion of the Cultural Heritage of India and for upholding peace and harmony among various religions and cultural groups. As Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an organization committed to preserve and propagate the ancient wisdom of India, he has done yeoman service to spread the glory of India through lectures and cultural programmes. Again as Chairman of Divyodaya, an organization founded to initiate inter-religious dialogue, he has worked for preserving the unique pluralistic culture of India. He was responsible for erecting a life size bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in his hometown Pollachi, which serves as a symbol of Truth and Non-violence. He was also the first Chairman of KURAL " the Voice of Coimbatore, formed during 2006 by a group of enlightened citizens to act as a common platform for the various NGOs to give expression to the aspirations of the people of this region.
As a prominent leader of the Rotary movement, he has worked for Universal peace and brotherhood. As a versatile speaker he has inspired and motivated the youth to emerge as leaders with a strong social orientation. In appreciation of his service, Rotary has honoured him with the "Outstanding Citizen Award" for the year 2001. Rotary Club of Aarch City, Madras, gave him the "Lifetime Achievement Award" in June 2007.
In the field of education, his contribution has been significant. He is the President of N.G.M. College, Pollachi and Chairman of Kumara guru College of Technology, Coimbatore. He has served in the management committees of many leading schools and colleges and worked for making values an integral part of the curriculum. In recognition of the good work done in the field of education, he was nominated to the Senate and Syndicate of the Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, which he served with distinction. Currently, he is a Member of its Planning Board.
As one connected with the Textile Industry, he was chosen to lead the Association representing the Industry, both at the Regional and at the National levels. He handled this responsibility with great vision even when the Industry was passing through a severe recession. Due to his untiring efforts, "The Cotton Technology Mission" meant to increase cotton production was sanctioned by the Govt. of India with a fund allocation of over $150 million.
During his tenure as Chairman of The Indian Cotton Mills" Federation, New Delhi, the apex body of the Textile Industry, a "Vision Statement for the whole of Textile Industry" was prepared with the help of CRISIL and the same was released by the Hon"ble Finance Minister Sri P. Chidambaram.
In appreciation of his Global Perspective and Secular credentials, he was invited by H.H.Pope John Paul II to attend the "Day of Prayer for Peace in the World" held at Vatican, Italy, during January 2002. The speech he made there was widely acclaimed by all the representatives world over and the same was published by Vatican Secretariat.
In appreciation of his social work wedded to the Gandhian ideals, he was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by Sri Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore, in the year 1999.
Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Coimbatore, in commemoration of their Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, awarded him the "Vivekananda National Award for Excellence" on 4.2.2006.
- Managed a group of Tea Estates at Wynad, kerala since 1972 and then a Parcel Service Company in Tamil Nadu.
- Director in the Board of certain other Companies.
- Chairman(1998-99) of Southern India Mill"s Association that represents 344 mills in the four Southern States controlling 90lakh spindles accounting for 34% of yarn exports giving direct and indirect employment to more than two lakh workers.
- Member, council of Administration in The South India Textile Research Association, Coimbatore.
- Chairman (2003-2004), Indian Cotton Mill"s Federation, Delhi- the Apex Body of Textile Industry of India.
- Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore, since Nov .1990.
- Member, Council of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Head Office, Mumbai.
- Exective Vice Chairman (2001-2007),Bhavan"s Gandhi Vidyashram (Residential School), Kodaikanal.
- Chairman, Kumaraguru College of Technology, Cbe
- President, N.G.M.College, Pollachi, since Oct.2005.
- Member of the Board of Governors, Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirappalli, since Dec.2001.
- Member-Planning Board of Bharathiar University, Cbe.
- Member of the Planning and Development Committee, University of Madras, Chennai.
- Member of the Committee to prepare a Vision Statement for the Tamil University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
- Member of the Board of management of the Society for Social Education and Research, Chennai.
- Member-Management Committee of Kendriya Vidyalaya University, Cbe.
- Charter President of Rotary Club of Pollachi (1985).
- Chairman, District Advisory Panel, Rotary International District 3200.
- Founder President "Pollachi Ilakkiya Kazhagam.
- Founder President "Pollachi Tamil isai Sangam.
- Trustee-Coimbatore Cancer Foundation.
- Chairman- Advisory Council, Divyodaya, Coimbatore-an inter-religious organization Delhi- the Apex Body of Textile Industry of India.
- Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) at the 11th Convocation in October 1999 by Sri Avinashilingam University, Cbe.
- Attended the "Day of Prayer for Peace in the World" at Assisi, Italy during Jan.2002- at the invitation by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
- Awarded "Vivekananda National Award for Excellence" by Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Coimbatore, on 4.2.2006 in Commemoration of their Paltinum Jubliee Celebrations.
- Awarded " Lifetime Achievement Award" by Rotary Club of Aarch City Madras, at Chennai on 27.6.2007.
- Award "Outstanding citizen of Coimbatore" award for the year 2001 by Rotary Club of Coimbatore on 26.12.2001.
- Awarded "kongu Mamani " at Chennai by kongu Nanbargl Sangam on 25.7.2004.