Perhaps, no other scientist has been as popular and respected as Dr. Yelavarthy Nayudamma both in India and abroad where leather is a major industry. It may be said that he was the only scientist who, after acting as the Director General of CSIR, Vice-Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, adviser to many state governments, international bodies, various branches of the United Nations Organisation etc., returned to CLRI to do research for the uplift of the people of the rural sector. Dr. Nayudamma’s services can be compressed into one sentence. “He made CLRI to be accepted by tanners as ‘OUR CLRI’ and its Director as ‘OUR NAYUDAMMA’. Dr. Nayudamma was born in Guntur on the 10th September 1922. He was a chemist and chemical engineer by training and his training in India, U.K. and U.S.A. he acted as the Director of Central Leather Research Institute, Madras and Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research which has about 48 national laboratories and more than 30,000 scientists, and also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Government of India.
Dr. Nayudamma had occupied many prestigious positions both in India and in foreign countries. Notable among them are: Senior Adviser Consultant to U.N. Agencies, UNDP Adviser, Global Research Committee UNDP. Governor, International Development Research Centre, Canada. President, COSTED. He was associated with many activities and his greatest contribution to the industry is the initiative he had taken to organise the International Leather Fair in CLRI Campus together with the Fashion parade with industry cooperation and the Annual ‘Tanners’ Get-together’ at CLRI.
He took charge as the director of CLRI after B.M. Das when the institute was equipped to help the industry and industry politely staying away from it. The then manufacturers of leather felt they did not need any technology and were quite happy with what they supplied to their buyers. Nayudamma had a tough job and the first phase of his work was devoted to induce the tanners to come to the institute and accept CLRI as their own institution which can offer them any assistance in improving their production, quality, economy and in many other areas. This, he succeeded by his extraordinary public relations and by involving himself not only in their problems but also in their social life so much that tanners would insist that Nayudamma should attend their social functions, too. He also encouraged scientists of CLRI to take initiative and assist the industry. There were no red tapes. A scientist may visit a tannery offer assistance and inform the director later. It was a family and Nayudamma was its head.
He organised the Tanners’ Get-together. In the early years the Institute’s team would visit leather centres and personally invite tanners to participate. He organised the first leather fair in 1964 as a joint effort of the industry and CLRI.
He sent leather technologists to offer technical assistance to tanneries in foreign countries. He invited private firms to send their executives to CLRI and sent his scientists to work in tanneries to enable both to get a working knowledge of the other. It is difficult to mention all the organisations founded by him, chaired by him or helped by him. He was the pride of Indian Leather Industry and was its ambassador. He died on 23rd June 1985.