Quality Lives for People with Developmental Disabilities

The Kattamuri S. Sarma Memorial Fund

The Sarma Family and Richmond Community Services proudly announce the establishment of the Kattamuri S. Sarma Memorial Fund to benefit and support those Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the highest quality of life through individualized services, life enhancing strategies, education and advocacy with particular expertise in meeting the needs of those with complex health issues.

Background and Purpose of the Fund

Kattamuri’s son, Shankar, has been a resident of Richmond Community Services in Yonkers for almost thirty years. During that time, RCS became more than a residential living facility for Shankar; it is a warm, nurturing and caring home for Shankar and a second home for Kattamuri and his family. It was clear from the start that the staff at Richmond were much more than caregivers performing a job - they treat each of their residents with the kind of warmth, love, attention and respect that you would give to your own family member.

The purpose of this Fund is to help support the well-being and enrich the lives of those with severe developmental and intellectual disabilities at Richmond in tangible ways.

In years past, the Sarma family has contributed to projects such as a weekend recreation program, the renovation of the residents’ bathrooms at 919 that made bathing safer for both residents and staff, and the creation of a large multi-purpose area where the residents could gather and engage in activities together.

Kattamuri S. Sarma, PhD

Kattamuri S. Sarma, PhD emerged from the humble beginnings of a small village in southern India to attain academic and professional success in the fields of mathematics, economics, statistics and data mining. After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in India, Dr. Sarma was awarded a full scholarship to study at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his PhD in Econometrics under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Lawrence R. Klein. Afterwards, Dr. Sarma had a career as an economist and statistician that spanned four decades, including long stints with IBM and AT&T. He is an author of numerous professional papers, publications, and textbooks in the fields of econometrics, statistics and data mining. Kattamuri later founded his own research and consulting firm that specialized in predictive modelling and forecasting. After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2018, Kattamuri shifted gears and revisited his life-long passion, an in-depth study of the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit. After achieving a strong remission from his leukemia in 2019, Kattamuri contracted COVID in late November 2020 and passed away a few weeks later.

In December of 1973, Kattamuri and his wife, Lokamatha, welcomed their eldest son, Shankar, into the world. Unfortunately, as a result of a mishap at the hospital a few hours after he was born, Shankar suffered a sustained loss of oxygen that resulted in severe brain damage. An extremely devoted and involved father, Kattamuri placed Shankar at the center of his life. Kattamuri and Lokamatha tirelessly visited medical specialists and physical therapists in their quest to enrich and improve Shankar’s quality of life. Over the years, it became clear that Shankar’s brain damage was so severe that he would not be able to walk, speak in words, or do most daily activities by himself. As Shankar approached the age of eighteen it had become increasingly difficult for his parents and his younger brother, Ravi, to take care of Shankar at home on their own. They were extremely lucky to find a warm, nurturing home for Shankar at Richmond Community Services in Yonkers where the dedicated staff there really came to become a part of their own family.

While Kattamuri was a frequent visitor to Richmond, he soon became an advocate for both the residents and staff there and was keenly interested in their well-being. After retirement, Kattamuri would visit Shankar four or five times a week, strolling him in the grounds that surrounded Richmond and the gardens of Untermyer Park next door. The Sarma family grew more involved in the Richmond Community Services Foundation over the years and supported numerous projects designed to enrich the day-to-day lives of its residents and staff members. Shankar, now age 47, remains under the expert and compassionate care of RCS.

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