Rajendra Bhawan Trust - Historical Background

meThe Rajendra Bhawan Trust was established, in the memory of late Dr.Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963), the First President of the Indian Republic, as a Public Charitable Trust on December 3, 1973, on the auspicious occasion of his 89th birthday celebration and was inaugurated on the same day by late Dr.V.V.Giri, then President of India.

The main objectives of the Trust, as spelled out in the Trust Deed, are to construct and maintain Rajendra Bhawan as a memorial to Dr. Rajendra Prasad and as a centre for the study and propagation of Gandhian thought as well as the ideas of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the fostering of national unity and promotion of social welfare programmes for the alleviation of the sufferings of the under privileged sections of our society. Efforts were also to be made to set up a museum on the life and times of Dr. Rajendra Prasad and to collect, preserve and publish valuable records relating to Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

The founder members of the Trust were Shri Jagjiwan Ram (Chairperson), Shri Baleshwar Prasad (Vice-Chairperson), Prof.Siddheshwar Prasad (Treasurer, Shri Rameshwar Thakur (Hony.Secretary), Shri Jayaprakash Narayan, Shri Ganga Sharan Sinha, Smt.Yashodhara Dasappa and Shri Bansi Lal.

After the passing away of Shri Baleshwar Prasad on 10th June, 1985 and Shri Jagjiwan Ram on 6th July, 1986, Shri Ganga Sharan Sinha and Shri Rameshwar Thakur became Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Trust respectively. Shri L.P.Singh, former Governor of Assam succeeded Prof.Siddheshwar Prasad as Hony.Treasurer and Prof.Bimal Prasad succeeded Shri Rameshwar Thakur as Hony.Secretary. After the passing away of Shri Ganga Sharan Sinha on 19th August, 1988, Shri Rameshwar Thakur became Chairman and Shrimati Meira Kumar, Vice-Chairperson in October, 1988, Shri Harish Chandra, former Member U.P.S.C., succeeded Shri L.P.Singh as Hony.Treasurer in August, 1993.

Shri Rameshwar Thakur, Chairman of the Trust resigned from Chairmanship on 5th November, 2006. The Trust is in its meeting placed on record their deep appreciation to Sri Thakur for his selfless service to the trust from the very beginning and expressed the hope that they would be able to have his advice and guidance whenever required. The Trust in its meeting elected Smt.Meira Kumar as Chairperson of the Trust held on 27.11.2006 and Shri D.P.Yadav as Vice-Chairperson of the Trust held on 27.11.2006.

The meeting nominated five more members as Trustees of Rajendra Bhawan Trust. Following names were approved Prof.Tara Sinha, Dr.Sayeda S.Hameed, Dr. C.S.Jha, Shri V.S.Yadav and Shri Anil Mishra,

The present office bearers and members of the Trust are Smt.Meira Kumar (Chairperson), Shri D.P.Yadav (Vice-Chairperson), Prof.Bimal Prasad (Hony.Secretary), Shri Harish Chandra (Hony.Treasurer), Shri Anil Mishra, Shri A.K.Antony, Dr.A.R.Kidwai, Prof.Siddheshwar Prasad, Dr.Sayeda S.Hameed, Shri V.S.Yadav, Prof.Tara Sinha and Smt.Radha Singh.

In addition, to the Chief Minister of Bihar who is ex-officio member of the Trust.

The foundation stone of the Rajendra Bhawan was laid on 2.10.1977 by Shri Morarji Desai, then Prime Minister of India. The construction of the main structure of the Bhawan (seven storeys) was completed by June 1987. However, due to financial constraints, other ancillary works such as furnishing of the Conference Room and air conditioning of the Auditorium, Library and Conference Room, were completed only by December, 1992.

The project was completed with grants from the Governments of Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, kerala, Orissa, contributions from various donors and with loans from banks. The various activities of the Trust have been planned and executed in pursuance of the objectives of the Trust since the year 1993-94.

The Health Care Services of the Trust started functioning with the setting up of Allopathic and Homoeopathic Dispensaries at Rajendra Bhawan in 1993. The Ayurvedic Dispensary was added in the year 1995.

In order to reach the Medical Services to the doorsteps of the poor, the Trust started Mobile Health Care Services through an Allopathic Medical Van in January, 1996. The services of Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic Medical Van were started in August 1998 and July 2000 respectively. We have also been participating in the Mobile Health Scheme of the Delhi Government since July, 2000 under which the Mobile Van and the Medicines are provided by the Directorate of Health Services and the services of Allopathic Doctor, Nurse and other paramedical staffs are provided by the Trust.

The total number of patients who have received treatment through our Health Care Services so far is 713426.

The Trust started a Women Development Centre in May 1993. This Centre has been imparting education and vocational training in cutting and sewing to the young girls and adult women. It is now being run in collaboration with BHARAT RATAN BHEEM RAO AMBEDKAR DALIT URBAN AVAM SHIKSHA SAMITI w.e.f. 1.6.2008.

The Trust has also been extending financial aid to other institutions/ organizations engaged in social service to the poor. It has sanctioned financial aid to institutions like the Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan, Calcutta, Jagjiwan Sanatorium Dehri-on Sone (Bihar), M/s Ramakrishna Mission Boys Home, 24 Parganas (WB), R.V.N.Andh Kanya Vidyalaya Society, New Delhi, and the Ramakrishna Vivekananda Sevasharam, Muzzafarpur (Bihar). The total financial aid given to such Institutions so far amounts to rupees 4,68,504/-

The Trust has extended financial aid to poor patients suffering from serious diseases requiring surgery and long treatment. The total financial aid given to such poor patients so far amounts to rupees 25,01,740/- In addition, the Trust has also been providing free medicines (prescribed by specialists in hospitals) to poor patients suffering from chronic diseases and diseases requiring long treatment and expensive medicines.

The Trust has sponsored 25 scholarships from the year 2000-2001 for award to meritorious students from all over the country. These scholarships are known as “Rajendra Prasad Independence Scholarships” and are awarded through Rashtriya Jagriti Sansthan (National Centre for Talent Promotion), which conducts competition for the same.

The Trust has established an Auditorium with a seating capacity of about 230 on the first floor of Rajendra Bhawan. The Auditorium is fitted with modern audio and recording equipment. It is ideally suited for holding public lectures, meetings involving large number of persons and cultural functions. It has been used by various governmental, non-governmental and social organizations for educational, social, cultural and other activities of interest to the general public. A Conference Room with a seating capacity of about 75 persons is also being maintained by the Trust for smaller gatherings on the second floor of Rajendra Bhawan.

In pursuance of its objectives, the Trust established the Rajendra Prasad Academy in April 1995 with Prof.Bimal Prasad as the Honorary Director. Shri Anil Mishra joined a few months later as Hony.Asst.Director and was redesignated as Hony. Dy.Director of the Academy w.e.f. 01.03.2002. Shri Anil Mishra, Hony.Dy.Director resigned w.e.f. 01.10.2008. Smt.Sangita Mallik who was working as research officer at the Rajendra Prasad Academy since 1998 was appointed as Dy.Director w.e.f. 01.10.2008. The aims and objectives of the Academy are to carry on study and research on Gandhian thought and action; to promote study and research on Rajendra Prasad’s Life and Thought; to foster national integration in India through the preparation of standard works relating to the Indian struggle for freedom and the organization of suitable cultural programmes; to promote the study of problems of India’s development and India’s Foreign Policy; to maintain a Library and a Reading Room and an exhibition portraying the Life and Times of Rajendra Prasad.

The Academy has been holding lectures, discussions and seminars on various topics of national and international importance. The seminars organized by the Academy so far have dealt with such themes as Gandhi and the Future of Humanity; Post Modern Gandhi; Satyagrah-A Hope for Humanity; India’s Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects; Hindi Sahitya Aur Hindi Patrakrita Ke Sarokar; Swatantrata: Awadharana Aur Paribhasa; Rural Development in Bihar: Problems and Prospects; Rajendra Prasad:Aspects of Leadership; Coalition Politics: Problems and Prospects; India’s Foreign and Security Policies in the New Decade: Challenges and Opportunities in South Asia.

The Academy has also been organizing lectures by eminent scholars. Some of the lecturers delivered under the Rajendra Prasad Memorial Annual Lecture series have been Geeta Ka Sandesh by Dr.Karan Singh (1995); Loktantra:Chunautiyan Aur Sambhawanaye by Shri Chandra Shekhar (1996); Rajen Babu: His Life and Message by Dr.L.M.Singhvi (1998); Hamari Sanskritik Dharohar by Dr.Vidya Niwas Mishra (2000); The Challenges of Poverty, Growth and Globalization in India by Dr.B.P.Singh (2001) and Hamari Sanskritik Virasat by Prof. Namwar Singh (2002), The future of Parliamentary Democracy in India by Prof. Madhu Dandavate (2003), Social Justice and Empowerment by Smt.Meira Kumar (2004), Cultural Foundations of South Asian Co-operation by Dr.Kapila Vatsyayan (2005) and Muslim Women at the crossroads by Dr.Syeda S.Hameed (2006), Jagjiwan Ram: Man of Vision and Action by Shri Baliram Bhagat (2007) and Integrated Development of the Nation by Hon’ble Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam (2008).

In addition, lectures have also been delivered on various other themes including those on Shri Aurovindo and the future of mankind; Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: Social and Political ideas and their Relevance today.

The Academy has brought out several publications. These include Gandhi and the World Today: A Russian Perspective by Prof.Marietta T.Stepaniants (New Delhi, 1998); India’s Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects edited by Prof.Nancy Jetly (New Delhi, 1999); Pathways to India’s Partition, Vol I: The Foundations of Muslim Nationalism by Prof Bimal Prasad (New Delhi, 1999) ; Rural Development in Bihar: Problems and Prospects edited by Prof.Yuvaraj Deva Prasad and Shri Anil Mishra (New Delhi, 2000); Pathways to India’s Partition, Vol II : A Nation with in a Nation by Prof Bimal Prasad (New Delhi, 2000); Ideas and men behind the Indian Constitution: Selections from the Constituent Assembly Debates (1946-1949) edited by Prof Bimal Prasad and Editorial Associate Mrs.Sangita Mallik (New Delhi, 2001) ; Jayaprakash Narayan – Essential Writings (1929-1979) edited by Prof Bimal Prasad and Editorial Associate Mrs.Sangita Mallik (New Delhi, 2002); Coalition Politics in India: Problems and Prospects edited by Prof.M.P.Singh, and Shri Anil Mishra (New Delhi, 2004); Development Imperatives for Grassroot Planning by Shri D.P. Yadav (New Delhi, 2004); Shesh Bihar by Shri D.P.Yadav (New Delhi,2005); Bihar Aaj Aur Kal by Shri D.P.Yadav (New Delhi, 2006): Pathway to India’s Partition, Vol III: The March to Pakistan 1937-1947 by Prof Bimal Prasad (New Delhi, 2009);

A bust of Dr. Rajendra Prasad was unveiled by Shri K.R.Narayanan, the then President of India on 3rd December, 1999 in Rajendra Bhawan. This bust was prepared by Shri Balkrishna Guru, a well known Sculptor.