Rao Bahadur Dharmaseela Khajana Venkoba Rao
Khajana Venkoba Rao, the son of Khajana Ranga Rao was born at Madura in 1879. His forefathers had served under the Nawab of Arcot as Treasurer and Dewan and hence Khajana became the family name.
He had his education in the Native College (which is now known as the Madura College), Madura; but after his father’s death in 1908, he had to take upon himself the management of the family estates.
He managed the estates so well that it was possible for him not only to continue the choultries (founded by his ancestors) at Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi and other places, but to increase their usefulness for pilgrims to those famous shrines.Conservative in his habits, he used to feed a large number of Brahmins, and several poor students in his house and to help them with their School and College fees. Khajana Venkoba Rao had a sweet and lovable personality. He was so easily accessible that no stranger who came to him for help in case of need was ever sent away empty – handed.
He was universally recognized as one of the foremost citizens of Madura. It was no wonder therefore he was made a First Class Bench Magistrate for several years continuously. He was also connected with the Madura College, the Madura Hindu Permanent Fund, the Madura District Board and the Rameswaram Devasthanam Committee, in all of which he did yeoman service.
In recognition of his philanthropic work, the title of ‘Rao Bahadur’ was conferred on him on the 1st January 1924. And His Holiness the Sankarachari Swamigal of Sringeri Mutt during his visit to Madura in 1926 awarded him the title of “Dharmaseela” in recognition of his very charitable disposition and the excellent way in which he was conducting the ancestral charities.
He died in December 1928 after a short period of illness.
Khajana Venkoba Rao was connected with the M.E. Fund in a variety of ways. He was a Life-Member of the Fund and one of its Vice-Presidents. Not only this; he was good enough to preside over one of our Annual Meetings and lend us his moral and material support.
His younger brother, Khajana Lakshmana Rao, we are glad to note, is closely following the footsteps of his brother and attaining a similar popularity.