Monday, July 6, 2009
Dr. K.K.Damodaran was born on 31/10/1921 at Kadapra - Mannar, Thiruvalla Taluk, Alleppey District, Kerala in a family of "Other Backward Community". Dr. Damodaran was a brilliant student and received Government scholarships throughout his education up to B.Sc. Degree. He passed M.A. degree in Physics from Madras University and joined Sree Narayana College, Quilon, Kerala in June 1948, as Senior Lecturer in Physics. While he was working at the Sree Narayana College, Dr. Damodaran took active part in the collection of College Building Fund and helped the Management in many other ways also for the development of the newly started College. He was also the Warden of the College Hostel and gave free tuition to the students of the Hostel. Due to his sincere and dedicated service for more than 4 years in the College, the Management of the College namely Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, Quilon, Kerala awarded him a loan Scholarship and sent for doing Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics in the University College, London in August 1952. He also received a Scholarship from the Kerala University while doing his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics during 1952-1954 to supplement the loan Scholarship received by him from Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam. He completed the Ph.D. course within the minimum period of two years and obtained the Ph.D. Degree in Nuclear Physics from the University of London in October 1954. Thereafter he was appointed as a Research Fellow in the Physics Department of the University of Birmingham for two years. Dr. Damodaran published 3 research papers (1) " Single scattering of fast electrons by atomic nuclei" - Proc.Phys.Soc.,A, Vol.69, 196-204 (1956). (2) " Preparation of scattering foils of Uranium" - Brit.J.Appl.Phys., Vol. 7, 322-323, (1956). (3) " Dissociation of molecular Hydrogen Ions (H ) in gases" Proc.Roy.Soc.A., Vol. 239, 382-393 (1957).
Dr. Damodaran was appointed as a Scientific Officer in the Nuclear Physics Division of the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay, Bombay when Dr. Raja Ramanna was the Head of the Nuclear Physics Division and Dr. Homi J.Bhabha was the Director of A.E.E.T. and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India. Dr. Damodaran joined A.E.E.T., Bombay in October 1956. When the A.E.E.T. Training School was started in August 1957 by Dr. Homi J.Bhabha with the help of Dr. Raja Ramanna for the intensive one year training of talented young graduates and post graduates in Science and Engineering who were interviewed and selected out of large numbers of applicants, Dr. Damodaran was asked to look after the Training School. The intensive training was mainly in Nuclear Science and Nuclear Engineering. The trainees were given monthly stipend and free Hostel accommodation. After successful completion of one year training, the trainees were appointed as Scientific Officers / Engineers in the various Divisions of BARC, TIFR, Power Projects, Heavy Water Projects etc., Dr. Damodaran was the Head of the Training Division for 25 years and looked after the training of 25 batches of trainees. It was the duty of the Head of the Training Division to organise the training courses for the trainees of the various disciplines such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Metallurgy, Instrumentation Technology etc. and co-ordinate the various courses in consultation with the Expert Committees of the Training School. More than 200 Senior Scientists and Engineers working in B.A.R.C., TIFR, Power Projects, Heavy Water Projects used to take part in the teaching work of the Training School. It was a difficult task at times to contact all these lecturers and arrange their lectures as per the prescribed Time-Table. There were weekly tests and examinations for the trainees of various disciplines. The assessment of the trainees is done on the basis of all these weekly tests/examinations. A total of 3750 trainees passed out from the Training School and were appointed Scientific Officers and Engineers in BARC and other projects under the Department of Atomic Energy during the period of 25 years when Dr.Damodaran was the Head of the Training Division. Many of them are Senior Scientists and Engineers and Heads of Divisions and Sections and Directors of Groups in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Nuclear Power Corporation, Heavy Water Board and other projects under the Department of Atomic Energy. The present Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and the previous Director of BARC , Shri Anil Kakodkar was a Mechanical Engineering trainee in the seventh Batch of the Training School and the ex-Director of BARC, Shri A.N.Prasad was a Chemical Engineering trainee in the first Batch of the Training School. The Present Director of the BARC, Shri B. Bhattacharjee was a Chemical Engineering trainee in the ninth Batch of the Training School.
The brilliant and outstanding Scientific Officers and Engineers who passed out from the Training School were responsible for the success of the Nuclear devices and Nuclear explosions at Pokkaran and also for the success of India's Nuclear Power Projects etc.
When Dr.Damodaran was working in Sree Narayana College, Quilon, Kerala, he became an ardent devotee of Sree Narayana Guru who was an great Saint and Social Reformer who preached " One Caste, One Religion and One God for Man", which embodies the Universal Brotherhood of Man. Sree Narayana Guru devoted his entire life for the spiritual, cultural and educational upliftment of the downtrodden masses of people. Dr. Damodaran took keen interest in spreading the messages and teachings of Sree Narayana Guru. When Dr. Damodaran was working as the Head of AEET / BARC Training Division, a number of like minded followers of Sree Narayana Guru in Mumbai joined hands with Dr. Damodaran and started Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti, an Educational and Charitable Trust on 17th November, 1963 with Dr. Damodaran as its Founder Chairman. The main objective of the Samiti was to start educational and charitable institutions in Mumbai City and suburbs and Thane District. The membership of the Samiti is open to all irrespective of Caste, Creed, Religion or Language. In June 1965 Dr. Damodaran was unanimously elected as President of the Samiti and continued in the post for the next 25 years. After that he was the Advisor of the Samiti for one year. Again he was the President of the Samiti for 5 years from June1990 and the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Samiti for one year from June 1995. He is serving again as the President of the Samiti from June 1996 onwards. Thus Dr. Damodaran has served as the President of the Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti for 35 years besides as Founder Chairman for one and a half years, as Advisor for one year and as Chairman of Advisory Board for one year.
Sree Narayana Guru High School / Sree Narayana Guru
College of Commerce, Chembur.
Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti's International
Centre for Sree Narayana Guru Studies at
Gurudeva Giri, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.
Dr. Damodaran played a leading role for building up the Samiti as premier social organisation, for spreading its activities all over Mumbai-Thane region and in establishing Sree Narayana Guru High School (English Medium), Sree Narayana Guru School (Marathi Medium), Sree Narayana Guru College of Commerce (Junior College & Degree College), Sree Narayana Guru Institute of Computer Studies etc. at the Samiti's Chembur Complex, International Centre for Sree Narayana Guru Studies at Gurudeva Giri, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Ten local Guru Centres around Mumbai-Thane region etc. A plot of land which was ten feet deep marshy land was purchased in October, 1972 for the construction of a four-storeyed School Building, a 1000 person capacity auditorium and a Guru Mandiram near Chembur Railway Station and construction started in January 1974. Sree Narayana Guru High School ( English Medium ) was started in June 1975. Admission was open to all irrespective of Caste, Creed, Religion or Language. The School has become a full fledged High School in June 1985. Now there are 2750 students studying in the School from Jr.K.G. to Std X . Sree Narayana Guru College of Commerce (Junior College and Degree College) was started in July 1986. Now there are 1200 students studying in the College from the 11th Std. to Final Year B.Com.Class. The Samiti started a Marathi Medium School in June 1998 for the benefit of the local population and there are about 400 students studying in the School from Jr.K.G. to Std. IV. Most of the students studying in the School and College come low-income group of families. Thirty percent of the students belong to the Scheduled Castes and thirty five percent of the students belong to minority Communities. Since Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti started the School and the College in this economically backward area where the people are illiterate and poor, the students from such families got an opportunity to study in English Medium School and the College. Thus the Samiti implemented Sree Narayana Guru's message namely "uplift the downtrodden masses of people by educating them". Due to the effort of Dr.K.K.Damodaran, housing colonies were set up around Samiti's School/College Complex, with a view to stop hutment dwellers to occupy the land around the School/College Complex. This also facilitated hundreds of people in Mumbai to get a roof over their head. First one was Narayana Guru Co-operative Housing Society consisting of 4 buildings with 88 flats, the second one being Atomic Co-operative Housing Society consisting of 7 buildings with 50 flats and the third one being Chempazhanti Co-operative Housing Society consisting of 4 buildings with 81 flats. Thus Dr. Damodaran was the founder of Sree Narayana Nagar consisting of these Housing colonies and Samiti's School/College Complex including Samiti's Auditorium and Guru Mandiram. Samiti opened Guru Centres in Goregaon, Bhandup, Kalyan, Ambernath, Thane, Dombivli, Vasai, Powai, Sakinaka and Tarapur and Samiti is conducting Charitable Dispensaries, Dance Classes, Music Classes etc. in these Guru Centres.
Dr. K.K. Damodaran is a Director of the Sree Narayana Guru Co-operative Bank Ltd. promoted by the followers of Sree Narayana Guru in Mumbai.
Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti has 9425 Life Members and 483 Patrons so far.
Dr. Damodaran with his administrative capabilities made Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti as the biggest organisation in the name of Sree Narayana Guru outside Kerala. The total asset of the Samiti is more than 35 crores.
Dr. Damodaran is doing free social service. He is a full time social worker after he retired from B.A.R.C. on 31st of October 1981.
Dr.K.K. Damodaran visited U.S.A. twice, the first trip from 9.7.1992 to 24.8.1992 and the second trip from 10.3.1997 to 5.5.1997. During these trips Sree Narayana Association of North America invited him and Honored him on 15.8.1992 and 24.4.1997 at New York. He gave them proper advice and guidance for the progress of Sree Narayana Association of North America.
On the way to U.S.A he was invited and given reception by Sree Narayana Mission of Singapore on 11.7.1992 and 10.3.1997.
He made a trip to U.K from 30.6.1994, as he was invited by Sree Narayana Mission of the U.K for the inauguration of their new centre at East Ham, London on 3.7.1994.
Dr.K.K.Damodaran, President of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti, Mumbai was selected for the special award of Sree Narayana World Council, New York presented at Sree Narayana Global Convention held from 5th August to 8th August, 1999 at Hilton Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Dr.Damodaran's wife Smt.Saraswathy Damodaran has passed M.Sc.Degree in Zoology from Kerala University. She hails from Quilon, Kerala. His daughter Dr.Asha Pradeep Chandran is M.D. Doctor specialized in Radiology and is working as a consultant in a Hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia for the last 9 years. His son Vinod Damodaran is working as a Computer Software Engineer in California, U.S.A. for the last 10 years
Posted by "Gurucharanam Sharanam" at 8:11 AM