Dr.Annie Besant, who hails from England, and chose to live in India, during British empire,  holds a distinguished place in the front rank among the India’s freedom fighters. She has  distinguished in various fields of public activities and and social service. She worked  hard  for the growth of Young Men’s Indian Association , popularly known by its abbreviation: YMIA, the most important institution she founded. YMIA was formally opened on 15.3.1914. A Managing Committee was formed in that year. The Association has now completed 97 years  of active and useful services.  To-day it is one of the foremost public institutions in the City of Chennai with a large membership and sound financial resources.
The Association has  become popular and attracted a large membership almost from its inception. Very famous persons like the late Maharaja of  Mysore,  Devan Bhadur Govindas Chathoorbhuj Doss, V.P.Madhava Rao, Sir C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, former Devan of Travancore and others , who were also among the first life members paying Rs.500/- in 1914 including Dr.Annie Besant. The stream of membership has been steadily growing  all these 97  years and today the membership of the association is 800 with 240 Life Members.
The success of an institution depends  greatly on the persons heading to  management. Dr.Annie Besant took particular care to see that proper men were chosen for the management of the Association. As the first President of the Governing Body, the services of Sir Dr. S.Subramania Iyer were secured. After his demise that honour was conferred on Dewan Bhadur L.A.Govinda Raghava Iyer, who has been followed successfively by Dr. G.S.Arundale in 1934, Mr. C.Jinnarajadasa M.A.(Cantab) in 1940 and by Sri A.Ranganatha Mudaliar in 1943. The first Secretary of the Governing Body was Sir S.P.Ramaswami Aiyar and he was succeeded by Mr. C.S.Govindaraja Mudaliar in 1919, Sri A.Ranganatha Mudaliar in 1931 and Sri K.Sanjeeva Kamath in 1943.
The Governing Body Elects a  Committee once in every 5 years for the active and effective administration of the Association under the General Supervision of the Governing Body. The first Executive  Committee had the unique privilege of having Mr. V.P.Madhava Rao, C.I.E.,  a former Dewan of Mysore, as its Chairman. The active Chairman from the very beginning of the institution was the founder Dr.Annie Besant. In 1919 Dewan Bhadur L.A.Govindaraghava Iyer was appointed as Chairman and in his place Dr.Annie Besant herself became the Chairman in 1924. After her sorrowful demise in September 1933, Sir, P.S.Sivaswamy Aiyar,  K.C.S.I.C.I.E.,  was the distinguished Chairman since his appointment in March 1934. Dewan Bhadur K.Audinarayanaiya was the first Vice Chairman  in 1919 followed  by Dewan Bhadur L.A.Govindaraghava Iyer in 1924,  Dr.G.S.Arundale in 1934, and by Vaidyanathan and  Capt. G.Srinivasamurthy since 1940.
The Secretaries of the Managing Committee The Gokhale Hall
The Portrait Gallery YMIA Parliament
Games Section Gymnasium
Hostels Reading room and library
The founder’s day Branches
YMIA Oratocial Contests YMIA Lectures
Old Office Bearers