R Raveendran – Committed to the ideals of Sree Narayana Guru
Committed to the ideals of Sree Narayana Guru
At age 91, few people would have the stamina for any project that requires committed effort and dedication over a sustained period. But Raveendran is of a different ilk from most people. He regularly drives 25 kilometres between his home in West Coast and the Sree Narayana Mission in Yishun to sit through meetings that last from 7 pm to 11 pm.
This octogenarian is an active member of the Sree Narayana Mission and was a member of its Building Fund Committee until 2018. For him, this is just another lap in his lifelong journey of serving Narayana Guru’s vision to uplift communities through education, empowerment and service. “I believe in the Guru’s principles and wanted to do welfare service,” he reasoned.
He had come to Singapore in 1950 from Kerala, India, already steeped in the Guru’s teachings. Thus, he was willing to do his bit in his new home country and propagate the Guru’s drive for community improvement, even though it is a world away from where the Guru had preached. Despite the fact that work and family commitments both weighed on him, Raveendran joined the Sree Narayana Mission in Singapore and took on heavy responsibilities, such as being Secretary of its Executive Committee for a few tenures.
In the early days, he had unstintingly knocked on doors for donations in aid of the Mission’s activities, gratefully accepting whatever little the people could spare then. Over the years, his duties have evolved as the Mission transformed into a larger, more recognised and established organisation. He continues to support as many of the Mission’s initiatives as he can, stepping forward when he deems it necessary, to uphold the Mission’s values and further its aims and objectives.
Raveendran had celebrated his 90th birthday in 2017, but his advancing age is not slowing him down in any way, nor has it dampened his spirit to serve. “The Mission’s members always tell me not to drive so far to our meetings and they always offer to drive me home late at night after a meeting, but I still continue with what I’m doing. I am still able to do all this because of Guru’s grace. Because of the Guru’s teachings, I always want to be doing service for the people. I feel happy to serve. I believe the Guru has a lot of power, and if you sincerely work for the Mission, you will prosper. But you must work sincerely. So I am still fit because of the grace of Guru and I will continue to do this until I die.”
Update: Mr R Raveeendran passed away peacefully on 3/3/2021.