the early 1900’s, the combined Saraswat
community in Madras (now called Chennai)
comprised only a few households. Most of
them had come to Madras for higher education
or for employment in government since the
South Kanara and Malabar Districts formed a
part of the Madras Presidency. Even so,
there was not much purposeful activity to
bring them together other than some parties
to celebrate birthdays or other happy events
in the family. Such meetings helped plant
the seed for a common forum for fostering
closer social contacts. It was during one
such dinner held at the residence of Mr.
Kalle Narayana Rao in 1912 (Founder and
first President) that the SGS Sabha was
When the Sabha was registered and
particularly in its initial years, it was
lucky to receive financial assistance from
the community’s temples at Mangalore,
Manjeshwar and Moolky. Among those who
helped the Sabha in its formative years, the
prominent were Mr. Keshav Narayan Kotnis,
Mr. H. Narayana Rao, Mr. Padmanabh Wasudev
Kamath, Hon’ble Dewan Bahadur Justice Sir
K.P. Lakshman Rao, Hon’ble Mr. Justice
V.P.Row, I.C.S. and Rao Bahadur Dr. V.P.
Kamath, Sri Rao Bahadur S. Mangesh Rao,
B.A., Prof. Presidency College, Sri M.
Narasayya Shanbhogue of Manjeshwar, Dr. A.
Sarvotham Pai, L.M. & S., Sri Kaup Ramanath
Shenai, B.A., M.L., Sri R.S. Vasudeva Shenai,
Sri K.P. Seshagiri Prabhu, Sri Sawkar M.
Ganesh Srinivas Pai, Rao Saheb Dr. B.
Raghavendra Rao, Sri B. Rama Rao, C.I.E.,
I.C.S., Sri A. Upendra Pai, B.A., Sri R.S.
Narayana Shenai, Sri Rao Saheb K.J. Guna Pai,
B.A. B.L. of Ernakulam, Sri G. Vamana Prabhu
and Rao Bahadur Dr. M. Kesava Pai.
A word of explanation for the use of word "Samyukta"
(united) in the name of the Sabha. The
founding fathers wanted to dispel the notion
that it was a communal institution and the
objectives was to “bring together” rather
than "separate". They were aware that in
several cities there were separate
institutions for GSB’s and Chitrapur
Saraswats. But in Madras, their far-sighted
vision has enabled the Sabha to break down
the irrational differences between these two
communities. The Sabha's membership is open
to both GSB’s and Saraswats and all members
enjoy the same privileges.
Right from the beginning, the Sabha gave
high priority for the educational
advancement of the community by disbursing
repayable scholarships. The most important
function held was the reception for new
graduates and honouring those who had won
high academic distinction. Since the Sabha
did not have its own premises, these
functions used to be held in hired halls.
The first scholarship was given in 1920, It
was Rs.25 per month for 10 months to a very
promising student to complete his B.L.
degree course. The person had a very
successful professional career and repaid
the loan in time.