Vishwesha Tirtha Swami’s special connection with Dharwad

The students hostel, Prahlad Nilaya (then, top, and now, above), established by Pejawar Math seer Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami in Dharwad.

The students hostel, Prahlad Nilaya (then, top, and now, above), established by Pejawar Math seer Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami in Dharwad.  

Pejawar Math seer Vishwesha Tirtha Swami had maintained a special bond with Dharwad, the cultural epi-centre of North Karnataka and one of the important educational hubs of this region.

Of course, he had many followers and admirers and would visit this city often. However, he is remembered more for two major initiatives in the field of education and empowerment. As Dharwad was an educational hub, several students mainly from humble family backgrounds would flock here to pursue their learning.

However, boarding was a major problem. To support such students, the Pejawar seer had started this Prahlad Nilaya in 1955. Since its inception, it has been offering scholarships to the tune of ₹ 16 lakh every year for poor meritorious students. The former inmates who are in good positions in society now have formed an alumni association and are involved in various social activities since long.

Yet another significant role played by him was safeguarding the educational institutions run by the Janata Shikshana Samiti (JSS). Senior writer Siddaling Pattanshetti said that but for the Pejawar seer that institute, which was in bad shape, would not have survived and flourished. Its condition was so bad at that time that salaries were not being paid properly.

On an appeal, the Pejawar seer intervened and convinced local individuals to hand over the institution to Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade, and he was the chairman of the managing committee for long. Today, this institution has witnessed tremendous growth, he said.

When this region was facing one of the worst droughts in 1967, the seer had taken out padayatra on the main streets of Dharwad and had collected donations to set up gruel centres for the affected people.

The seer, who was also known for his scholarly pursuits, had maintained a cordial relations with eminent writers of the town such as Patil Puttappa, Channaveer Kanavi, late Arya Acharya and late M.M. Kalburgi. He had also supported eminent scholar Srinivas Havanur to shoulder the responsibility of bringing out the Dasa Sahitya volumes.

Large and Medium Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, Mr. Puttappa and others have condoled the seer’s death.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 2:59:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vishwesha-tirtha-swamis-special-connection-with-dharwad/article30428388.ece

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