Faces in the Crowd- Going The Extra Mile

Posted on June 8, 2016 under Faces in the Crowd with no comments yet

CS Reddy


“My dream is to try and help the world become a better place; a place where poverty  is alleviated and where people can live in peace and harmony.”

Meet C.S. Reddy

Chandra Sekhar Reddy Tupalle (in short CS Reddy) is a tall man with lofty goals.

He was born into a farming family (and both parents did not have formal education) in a small remote agricultural village called Morramkinda Palle of Andhra Pradesh State about 150 kilometers from Bengaluru, India. The village didn’t have running water or electricity and there was little in the way of public transportation, other than travel by foot or a bullock cart.

In order for the peanut and rice crops to grow, water had to be drawn from wells without the aid of any mechanized devices. Families travelled to weekly shandies (local markets)  to sell their goods and often used the proceeds to buy staples for home.

There was a scarcity of health care and education. The closest government school was five kilometers away. It was not unusual for children in the village to gather in a central location and sit in the sand, trying to learn some of the basics.

When C.S. was 8, his father and grandfather decided that in order for their children to get  education, they needed to move to a less remote location. They relocated to a property 10 kilometers away. Everyone was expected to do their share of the farm work before and after school. When C.S was in grade 7, he was thrilled when his father bought him a bicycle. The elation was short-lived when he discovered his father’s  motive: C.S. could get home from school quicker so that he could get right to work on the farm!

His brother, Sahadeva, dropped out of school to turn his attention to farming on a full time basis. Later on, Sahadeva became a very important person in C.S.’s life as he contributed financially to C.S.’s education.

Upon completion of grade 12, C.S. moved to the “Temple Town” of Tirupathi where he studied mathematics and statistics and achieved a Master’s of Science in Statistics. But his educational journey was far from over. He moved to the state capital of Hyderabad, ostensibly to find work but ended up doing some part time tutoring and research. This led to a Masters of Philosophy in Statistics.

And then CARE called upon him.

CARE is well-known world-wide as an organization whose mandate is to fight poverty, educate children and providing disaster relief. C.S. moved to Delhi and began his life’s work in trying to enhance the well-being of others. He returned home briefly in 1992 long enough to meet his future wife, Sabitha.  It was an arranged marriage, as was the custom. They had never seen each other prior to this occasion.

In 1995, he transferred to Hyderabad in a senior management position with CARE. A daughter, Sharmi arrived in 1998 followed by a son, Gautam in 2001.

Sabitha was quite surprised when C.S. came home one day in 2001 and announced that he was leaving CARE. But she needn’t have worried, as C.S. had a vision that was about to change the lives of many, particularly women. He founded a new charitable organization called APMAS, which was a women’s development society. He remains CEO of this pan India organization to this day.

C.S has a passion for healthy living and is a well-known marathon runner in his community. The Hyderabad Marathon, organized by Hyderabad Runners in which C.S. is a member, routinely attracts over 15,000 participants.

In 2011 he accepted an invitation to come to the renowned Coady International Institute in Antigonish to teach community-based microfinance, and he has come back every year since. He has an attachment to Antigonish and the feeling is mutual. He and his countrymen are quite fond of Canada. “Your country has wide open spaces, clean air, abundant natural resources and good governance,” says C.S. “Canadians and Indians are very much alike. They are warm and affectionate people.”

His colleagues at Coady speak of him in glowing terms. “He brings tremendous energy, enthusiasm and makes ground realities come alive in the classroom.”

C.S. has a lot of good miles left in him yet. “I will continue to strive to address inequality,” he says.

May this towering man with a big heart continue his marathon of helping others help themselves.

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