This octogenarian breathed life into Anand Nagar
There is no room for doubt that he is the quintessential resident of Anand Nagar Colony abutting Khairtabad. On a chance meeting with him, an outsider...
Further revelations come forth plain and simple-in addition to redressing people’s grievances, he is a passionate sports enthusiast, who makes it a point to watch tournaments to this day or catch up with the happenings during meetings with fellow-residents, including the likeminded senior citizens or the bubbling youngsters.
As one of the earliest occupants of the colony from a distant past (the family moved in when the area resembled a rundown spot that was devoid of much human activity in 1961), the multi-dimensional Ayyagari Raja Rao is the friendly neighbour who is known to everyone from the milk seller, petty kirana shop owner, newsagent, laundry guy to the postman.
It is more profound with those dabbling in sports, particularly ones belonging to the table tennis and carrom fraternities, which, according to him, “are my favourite disciplines”. He is not just restricted to promotion of sports, per se. He has been instrumental in bringing a lot of facilities that are meant for the betterment of those staying in the area.
A simple person, he takes delight in rising to the occasion, particularly if it benefits a majority of the people. This trait was to the fore even during his days at AG Office, where he retired as the Accounts Officer. It is least bit surprising considering that he has rendered yeomen service to uplift the colony with his relentless, but selfless, drive to make Anand Nagar one of the better localities in the twin cities. There is no denying that he has succeeded in his mission to immense levels.
His contributions are immense and one too many to list them in their entirety. A capsule presentation of some of the major highlights that has helped the residents to prosper, enjoy and breathe easy include establishing Prakasam Vidyaniketan School, which was essentially meant to check land-sharks from encroaching upon the open but prime land.
Today, the school caters to the educational needs of hundreds of children from the lower strata staying in the adjoining colonies; he played a major role in getting sanction for the bridge from Anand Nagar Colony to Chintalabasti that is bringing respite to vehicular traffic and pedestrians, a public library, regular door-to-door milk supply, a spacious auditorium, which has since been converted into a marriage hall besides founding the Anand Nagar Welfare Academy (AWA), which is abuzz with activity round-the-clock and ranks among the most patronised ones in the twin cities.
The stamp of Raja Rao’s graciousness is distinct when one meets anyone from AG Office, either an old-timer or a present employee. Ayyagari (the surname suits the reverence accorded to him perfectly) is the founder-director of AG Office Co-op Credit Society; subsequently as secretary of AG Office Housing Society, his personal involvement helped develop Shyam Nagar, Maruti Nagar, Sharada Nagar and Kakatiya Nagar.
Not one to rest content, Raja Rao is the founder-member of Telugu Nataka Samithi, the cultural wing of AG Office that specifically promotes Telugu theatre whereas Ranjani was conceptualised to help the employees to pursue their literary interests and activities. At the national level, Raja Rao served as the All India President of SAS Association that comprises of section officers of AG Offices in India.
His love for sports has apparently kindled interest in his off-spring comprising of two sons and two daughters. His advocate-son A Narasimha Rao is the incumbent Secretary of Anandnagar Welfare Sports Academy while three grandsons are active table tennis players, who are gradually making a name for themselves, much to the delight of the proud grandfather, who to this day does not miss even a single tournament.
“Seeing the grandchildren blossom into quality players brings the biggest joy to me even as I enjoy every game. Carom is where there is a tremendous sense of oneness,” says Raja Rao, who epitomises simplicity and honesty, two aspects of life that he has passed on to his children and those associated with him all these years. Unsung hero he might be but he stands apart as a role-model for people who know him.
By:Sridhar K Penna