Kandukuri Veeresalingam was born to Punnamma and Subbarayadu on 16th of April 1848 at Rajahmundry. He lost his father at the age of four. In spite of several hardships and hurdles, Veeresalingam progressed in life showing unmatched courage, hard work and dedication. He married Rajyalakshmi in 1861. He started his career as a headmaster in a school at Korangi near Dowleswaram. Later he joined the Government College Rajahmundry as a Telugu Pandit. He later joined the Presidency College as the head of the department of Telugu and worked there till 1904.
He started a magazine entitled “Vivekavardhini” and used it educate people against social evils. Veresalingam was inspired by the founder of “Brahmasamaj” Sri Raja Ram mohan Roy’s philosophy and became his follower. He joined the “Ekeswaradhana” movement and established prayer halls in Rajahmundry, Bangalore and Madras. Pained by the deplorable situation of child widows, Veeresalingam advocated widow remarriage. Inspite of facing heavy odds and opposition from various sections of the society, He performed the first widow remarriage on 11th December 1881.
He started widows home, an orphanage and schools and colleges. He started “Hitakarini Samaj” to take care and administer all these establishments. He influenced the starting of a Girls High School in 1874 at Dowleswaram. In 1881 he personally started a Girls High School in Innispet, Rajahmundry in 1907. It later came to be known as Hitakarini High School. The principal patron and donor for the construction of the school building, the Maharaja of Pithapuram, rechristened it as Veeresalingam Theistic High School.
Veeresalingam wrote several satires and books that included “The History of poets”, an autobiography, a book on Natural science, a translated drama and many more. Most of them are the first amongst their genre in Telugu. The then government bestowed him with the title “Rao Bahadur”.
Smt. Rajayalakshmi stood by his a devout and dedicated wife in all his endeavors to eliminate social evils. Smt. Rajyalakshmi breathed her last on 12th August 1910 and Sri Veeresalingam left his physical body on 27th May 1919. The institutions started by him are still flourishing and growing to this day. Every one of us should strive sincerely to carry forward the principles and philosophy of Sri Veeresalingam.
The renaissance of Indian art and literature, industrial revolution, British rule have all contributed to social reform movement in our country. A strong and vociferous advocate against the practice of barbaric and uncultured act of “Sati”, Raja Ram mohan Roy can be called as the pioneer of social reform movement in India. If it was Raja Ram Mohan Roy in the North, then it was Rao Bahadur Veeresalingam who led the movement in the South. Verresalingam worked relentlessly towards the abolition of cultural, economic and religious disparities in the society. Enlightened by the reform movement political leaders had realized the importance of education and at the dawn of the 20th century started establishing educational institutions. With the soul purpose of spreading education, wellknown poet of that time, Chilakamarthi Lakshminarasimham started a Hindu Middle School. Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam adopted this school on behalf of Hitakarini Samaj on 16th September 1907. This was upgraded to a high school in 1909. There was no looking back from then on as the institution grew from and strength to strength in both extent and activities. It is now producing several scholars and is a well known premier institute in the region.