Y.D. Rama Rao is the Vice-President of the AP State unit of Lok Satta Party. He has been in active public life for more than 30 years.
He has been associated with various social, cultural, and sports organizations in East Godavari district. He has had an extremely illustrious career in consumer co-operatives. He was elected unanimously as Chairman of Kakinada Superbazaar for 14 straight years, from 1986 to 2000. He was the youngest and the first person from AP elected to the post of Director, South India for the National Co-operative Consumer Federation (NCCF), New Delhi. He represented NCCF on the General Body of National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), which is the highest body of the Co-operative Movement in India.
Y.D. Rama Rao is the Vice-President of the AP State unit of Lok Satta Party. He was interviewed by Amarendra Sagila.
Amar: How did you get interested in politics and public service?
YDR: Basically, I hail from a family with a communist background. My father was a communist. Naturally, I developed social awareness right from childhood and used to follow politics and current affairs regularly. I used to observe the lives of people from the lower and middle classes and the trials and tribulations they faced in their daily lives. I imbibed leadership qualities right from childhood. I was the class pupil leader and school pupil leader in school and worked as Secretary of the students union in college. I used to participate actively in debates and quiz competitions.
At the time of Emergency (1975-77), I was doing my Post Graduation in M.com in Chirala College, which was affiliated to Andhra University. We opposed the Congress party and supported the Janata Party. After my Post Graduation, I did PG Diploma in Business Management and joined Sri Ramdas Motor Transport (SRMT) as an executive in 1979. For almost 10-20 years, SRMT played a big role in the politics of East Godavari. In 1982, municipal elections were conducted in Kakinada and candidates supported by SRMT were contesting. I was looking after the public relations of the company and so I ran the campaign and participated in political organizing.
India has the privilege of having one of the highest numbers of women representatives in the world with more than a million members from the ward level to the highest positions of public office. Yet, this has not translated into real change on the ground as family connections and wealth continue to dictate politics. This is why there are only a handful of leaders like Hyma Sagi in the rare category of self-made women leaders. “Politics is about people and solving their problems. Any person, be it a middle class woman or an educated professional, can survive here provided she/he has a strong will to change the society.” she says. A well-educated, successful entrepreneur, Hyma joined the Lok Satta Party in 2009. Since then she has created a mark for herself by conducting ‘Bahiranga Sabhas’ (Public Meetings), several meetings in slum areas and by taking the Lok Satta movement into the people like no one has done before. Hyma has recently won the internal elections for the post of Lok Satta President of Sanath Nagar Constituency and is getting ready to contest in the 2014 elections. Her activities can be followed on Facebook and on this website.
Here is an interview of Hyma Sagi by Sravanthi Yalamanchili.
Sravanthi: It has been more than a year since you started working in Sanath Nagar Constituency. How is politics treating you so far?
Hyma: I am enjoying it! Ground realities may seem different from outside but once you start working, the opportunity to learn and contribute while trying to bring a change to the society feels good. There is also a strong misconception that middle class or educated people cannot survive in politics. My experience shows that this is simply untrue. There is no reason to be scared of anything and anyone with social consciousness and a strong will to change the society can join and move ahead in politics.
Sravanthi: How did your political journey start?
Leaders like Shivaji Raju exemplify Lok Satta’s commitment to honest and nepotism-free politics. Shivaji Raju joined the Lok Satta party as a commoner without any influential background in 2009, and by 2010 he was heading the entire team of Vidyarthi Satta. Today, aged only 29, he is the State President for Yuva Satta and a member of several decision making committees within Lok Satta. As he himself asks, “Is this even possible in most other parties?”. Outside of Lok Satta, Shivaji Raju gained state-wide recognition after he and his team exposed the 42 crore scam in the AP government’s ‘Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu’ scheme. He is currently leading campaigns to promote the involvement of youth in politics.
Shivaji Raju can be reached via email and Facebook. Find out more about him and his work through this interview by Sravanthi Yalamanchili.
Sravanthi: Shivaji garu, Tell us about your background and why did you join Lok Satta?
Shivaji: I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. I finished my degree from Wesley College. During my student days, I used to volunteer for Akhila Bharata Vidhya Parishad ( ABVP), a student wing of BJP . Slowly, I realized it is no different from a typical political party whose motive is power and money. So, I went into inactive mode after college. In 2009, I happened to listen to a speech of JP garu in Quthbullapur Constituency. I was in fact travelling in a bus and got down to see what’s going on. That speech of JP garu and ideologies laid out by him inspired me very much. So, I joined the Lok Satta Party as a volunteer and later as a paid member.
Sravanthi: How was your experience like after joining Lok Satta? Was it similar or different from your experience as a student volunteer of BJP?
Maheswarapu Gatayya is the District President of Lok Satta, Warangal. He is the party’s candidate for Parakala constituency in the AP Assembly by-elections of June 2012, and for Bhupalpalli constituency in 2009. He was interviewed by Sravanthi Yalamanchili in May 2012.
Sravanthi: Gattayya garu, why did you decide to join politics?
Jonnalagadda Jaya Bhagyam is the Lok Satta Party candidate for the Prattipadu constituency in the Assembly by-elections of June 2012. She was interviewed by Sravanthi Yalamanchili in May 2012.
Sravanthi: Jaya Bhaghyam garu, what is your background? What inspired you to join politics?
Jaya Bhagyam: I am a commoner. I do not have a political background. So why did I join politics?
Nellore Narasaiah is the Lok Satta Party candidate for the Kovur constituency in the Assembly by-elections of March 2012. This profile was narrated by him and scribed by Prakash Kapila. Audio of another interview/interaction with Mr. Narasaiah and campaign team here.
My father was a farmer. I am a farmer. We are from Totapalli mandal in Nellore district. I studied up to 10th class and have spent my life doing the labors involved in agriculture. Each and every aspect of farming, I have done with my hands and faced all the ups and downs. I moved to Nellore town because of marriage relations and children’s education. My son is MCA and my daughter is MSc(microbiology) and she is getting married on March 9, 2012. I enjoyed a carefree life till I was 20 and fulfilled family responsibilities till 49. Now, I want to dedicate myself to the public.
The present political system has degraded into a business with higher class people manipulating the system to benefit themselves and their own people. The primary job of politicians is to figure out which parts of the government machinery are not working properly and to make it work properly, by creating laws when necessary. Continue reading