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The Life Story of Devarao Shivaram Ubhayakar

Author: Sharada Prabhakar, Bombay, 1960

This is a 'rags to riches'story - with a difference. Devarao Ubhaykar, as someone noted, learnt to 'give away (his wealth) until it aches'. From humble origins in Hubli, Karnataka, he worked his way up, by sheer dint of industry, honesty and perseverance in the burgeoning textile industry in Bangalore and its environs. Fate dealt him a kind hand in that his activity coincided with an economic boom in that sector in the WWII years when textile mills in India revved up to meet demands of the military sector. He built up an unprecedented level of trust and repute, worked with distinction in Sirur/Mysore and later Minerva Mills and used the wealth he built up in philanthropic work.  His "Deena Deva Sangha" cared for all round welfare of mill and other workers at a time when they had few welfare measures or sympathy inside or outside the government.

He also helped in the war effort with assistance to military hospitals and contributions to Red Cross. He used his wealth in village uplift schemes, and opened Students Homes to care for needy students. The spread of his charity and welfare ideas practically covered much of peninsular India.

His daughter, Sharada, who has authored her father's life chronicle, talks poignantly, of how in the midst of all his work, he proved equally caring for his family and community. It all goes to show how one who realises good in the service of the poor, the weak and the needy, and in the words of Mahatma Gandhi "wipes the tear from every eye", brings out the best in Humankind.

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