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Car accident did not deter me

Car accident did not deter me
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“I was born in Narayanpet, but I belong to Dhanwada in Makthal, Mahububnagar. I am the eldest of seven children - five girls and two boys. I...

Says DK Aruna, Minister for Information and Public Relations, Government of Andhra Pradesh

There was some mild sibling rivalry between my brother Ram Mohan and me as he was allowed to drive a car, but I was not. I felt this was sheer discrimination. When I was 14 years, I wanted to learn driving and managed to convince my brother to teach me

“I was born in Narayanpet, but I belong to Dhanwada in Makthal, Mahububnagar. I am the eldest of seven children - five girls and two boys. I was quite a pampered child and I remember fond times with my paternal grandmother, who I used to call Avva. I did my schooling in Government School. My school was at the other end of the village. I used to walk to school although my father owned cars. He believed that it was essential to stay grounded.
In Class V, I shifted to Madapati Hanumantha Rao School in Hyderabad. In those days, the children of most political leaders did their schooling here. My father Chitta Narsi Reddy was a freedom fighter and active in politics. For holidays, I would come back home. We used to go to the fields to meet our family who were busy with farming during those seasons. I used to plant seeds in the ground along with other farmers. It was a great experience to get my hands dirty in the field.
There was some mild sibling rivalry between my brother Ram Mohan and me as he was allowed to drive a car, but I was not. I felt this was sheer discrimination. When I was 14 years, one of our old cars was parked near our fields. I wanted to learn driving and managed to convince my brother to teach me. I was happy to take the driving seat. There was a big well in the field. My brother asked me to step on the brakes, but in the anxiety to avert an accident, I mistakenly stepped on the accelerator. Vroom went the car and fell half way into the well. Luckily, we both got out safely. Although the incident stirred me, it did not shake me. Instead of getting nervous about driving, I took it up as a challenge and mastered driving. I was a sporty girl. I played tennikoit, throw ball and shuttle. I excelled in long jump and was the team captain and represented my college at national level. I always felt that even if girls are a step ahead, several factors pull them back.
Though the Indian culture looks up to women, the Indian society is firm with the belief that women are naturally inferior to men because of the faith that a woman's duty is bound only to give birth and take care of her family. I wish I had more chances to do better in sports. I did my Intermediate in Science from Raja Bahadur Venkata Rama Reddy College at Narayanaguda. I was a bright student and was keen to pursue my degree. But my parents found a good match for me from a political family and I was married when I was 16 years. My father-in-law DK Satya Reddy was a freedom fighter and popular political leader.
(As told to Lata Jain)
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