Sunday, April 24, 2011

All Eyes On 7 Key Members of Sathya Sai Trust

Puttaparthi : With the death of Sathya Sai Baba, all eyes are on seven key people associated with his powerful Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), who may call the shots from now on. With Baba leaving a huge spiritual empire of an estimated Rs 40,000 crore ($9 billion) but not a successor, the following people may decide on the coming events at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district.

Trust secretary K Chakravarthi: A former Indian Administrative Service(IAS) official and the only trust member with cheque signing power. A former district collector of Anantapur, Chakravarthi, who hails from Tamil Nadu, quit the IAS on Baba's advice and joined him in 1981. Considered an authority on financial matters, he served as the registrar of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning till 1994, when Baba made him the trust secretary.

Trust members - S V Giri: Former IAS official who served as chief vigilance commissioner. He too resigned his job in 1998 to join as the vice chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University. He was instrumental in building a network of Sai educational institutions.

PN Bhagwati: A former chief justice of India, he is the most well-known and respectable face of the trust. A staunch devotee of Baba, he joined the trust as its member on Baba's advice.

Indulal Shah: A chartered accountant turned entrepreneur. He is the founder and international advisor of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations and runs the global network of Sai institutions.

Venu Srinivasan: The chairman and managing director of TVS Motors heads the Indian chapter of the Sai network of institutions.

RJ Ratnakar: The only family member of Sai Baba on the trust. Baba made his nephew a member in 2010 in place of his father Janakiram, who died in 2005. The 39-year-old runs a cable TV network in Puttaparthi and owns a petrol bunk.

Baba's personal caregiver Satyajit: Though not a member of the trust, he was very close to Baba as his personal caregiver. Last year, Baba is believed to have suggested that Satyajit should become a member of the trust. The 33-year-old, also hailing from Tamil Nadu, has done his MBA from Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He had joined the Sathya Sai school at the age of five.

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations were founded in 1960.  The organisation, from small beginnings in a remote little hamlet in Puttaparthi, has grown into a well-knit global organisation. It has its units across the country and in over 170 countries.Prasanthi Council, headquartered in Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi, oversees the functioning of Sai Organisations worldwide.

It consists of the All-India president, the chairman of the overseas organisations and a few senior members of the Sai family appointed by Baba himself.

The policies, decisions and directives of the Prasanthi Council are handed down through the state-level units and central coordinators to the entire organisation, right down to the grass-roots levels for assimilation and implementation.

Structure of Sai organisations :

* All-India president guides and supervises activities of organisations in all states

* All-India president assisted by all-India coordinators of spiritual, educational and service wing and also zonal coordinators for eastern, western, southern and northern regions of the country

* Every state has state president who appoints district coordinators who in turn selects convenors of Sai Samithi (centre). Every Samithi has own spiritual, educational and service coordinator

* The overseas organisation is structured into regions. Every region has one or more central coordinators appointed by overseas chairmen of International Sai Organisation. Central coordinators disseminate policies, directives and messages received from the Prasanthi Council.

* Every country which has 10 or more Sai Centres has a central council which selects the head of every Centre.

* Each Sai Centre has a minimum of nine members.


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