TS Speaker confident of holding a smooth session
TS Speaker confident of holding a smooth session, Bhupalpalle TRS MLA Sirikonda Madhusudhana Chary, the first Speaker of the Telangana Assembly, is...
Interview of The Week
His heart is with the Chenchus who live a primitive life
Bhupalpalle TRS MLA Sirikonda Madhusudhana Chary, the first Speaker of the Telangana Assembly, is seen as a politician with a human face. He has a tough task to coordinate with his Andhra counterpart in running the State Assembly of Telangana particularly in resolving several problems that have cropped up as Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh Assemblies have to function from the same premises. Notwithstanding the pressures of legislative responsibilities, Madhusudhana Chary has been making committed efforts to bring aboriginal tribal community of Chenchu into the mainstream of society and has launched yet another programme in that direction. He started English language classes for the community children at their colony at Regonda in the district recently. It may be noted that the Assembly Speaker has in the past arranged an educational tour for the Chenchus to important places in Warangal, organised a medical camp and distributed television sets to the Chenchus. In an exclusive Interview to Mahesh Avadhutha Madhusudhana Chary says it is a mission and a dream of his life to see that this hapless people come up in life and join the mainstream. He proposes to take them to the Chief Minister and Governor and ensure that the government takes up their welfare on a mission mode
You have achieved special distinction as a Speaker striving for the welfare of Chenchu tribes. What made you focus your attention on them?
I was moved when I saw that Chenchu tribes had been leading a primitive lifstyle even after 67 years of achieving freedom. Take the case of Warangal district, Chenchus hamlet in Chennapur village is just 2 km from a police station in a plane area and not a remote one; 11 km away from erstwhile Taluq headquarters of Parkal and 44 km from district headquarters of Warangal district. But the sad part is they still don’t know what the outside world is…what development means…what is civilisation. In the last 100 years only one person from this tribe did see Warangal city. This is enough to gauge how they are disconnected from the rest of the world. They still eat rats (that too only raw cooked on a flame). The fruits of development have not reached the Chenchus, a majority of whom never stepped out of their villages. They want to continue their traditions and are hesitant to adopt changes in life. But that alone is not the reason responsible for their pathetic condition. Successive governments have ignored them and failed to ensure that development reached them. They had done nothing to educate them and expose them to modern society.
When did you get to know about the sorry plight of Chenchus in Chennapur and Bhavusinghpally villages of Warangal district?
Three years back, I had been to these hamlets as part of the separate Telangana movement. Initially they did not speak to me. It took me one-and-a-half days to convince them. Then I spent one full day with them trying to gather information about their life style, habits etc. For want of funds I could not do anything at that time. But I took a vow to do something for them soon after getting elected this time.
You seem to have undertaken many initiatives for Chenchus in the last four months?
In fact my first visit on June 12 after becoming Speaker was to these tribal hamlets. In the following days; I distributed clothes, shawls, sweet packets, bulbs and fans besides colour TV sets (with dish connection) to 73 Chenchu families in these two habitations. I also organised a field trip for the chenchus to see historic places in Warangal district like Thousand Pillar and the famous Bhadrakali temple on September 1. I was with them all through these visits. Later a health camp with doctors from NIMS besides Malla Reddy and Mediciti institutes was held on September 15 and Rs 2 lakh worth of free medicines were distributed. We also did something on the educational front by starting a four-month long English language classes for children commencing from this Dassara.
Did you seek any help from the government in this matter or are you doing it on your own?
I spent money from my salary for all these programmes but the government’s assistance was sought in giving Antyodaya cards, laying of link roads to these villages, power connections, reviving an Angandwadi school, supply of drinking water by RWS department. I now plan to take them to meet Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Governor ESL Narsimhan in Hyderabad in the coming months.
What has been your experience as first Speaker of newly formed Telangana state?
I am happy and hopeful of conducting the proceedings of the House smoothly and effectively with the co-operation of elected representatives of both ruling and opposition parties. People have high expectations since this is a newly formed state. Legislators should bear this in mind for the next five years and do their bit for fulfilling the dream of achieving Bangaru Telangana.
Have you been able to solve issues like sharing of space with AP Assembly etc.?
All issues have been settled amicably and there is no problem at present. I and my counterpart Kodela Sivaprasada Rao had several rounds of meetings and we resolved all the issues. There was some confusion in between over allotment of rooms but now all that is over. We are set for holding smooth sessions.
Budget session will be commencing in 10 days time and it appears opposition is set to corner the government on various issues like power crisis, farmers’ suicides among others. How are you going to handle the situation?
It is the responsibility of the opposition parties to raise several issues pertaining to the people and seek information from the government to draw its attention and see that the government comes forward with solutions. There are many avenues available for the members of the legislature to raise the issues. The opposition should however play a constructive role and should not indulge in stalling the proceedings of the house or using the floor for settling political scores. The Law makers should remember that they have been elected and sent to the legislature to frame rules and policies for the welfare of the people. They should put pressure on the government in a democratic manner and see that the peoples issues were addressed. For that they should bring issues of people to the notice of the government.
However, debates in the House should be constructive and result-oriented. Ultimately people of the entire state would be watching the live proceedings and the onus is on the legislators to behave wisely and in a responsible manner. There is need for changing our outlook and desist from indulging in creating ruckus and stalling the Assembly proceedings. I hope and appeal to all of them to cooperate and see that maximum number of issues get discussed during the budget session.