Amaravati brings a smile on my face every time I come to think of it. I have visited this town on June 12, 2014 for a story for Al Jazeera. It was soon after N. Chandrababu Naidu took oath as the Chief Minister of the new state of Andhra Pradesh.
My visit to Amaravati was an unplanned one during which the construction of the Dhayana Buddha was still on. The sculptures around that Spiritual Centre were being carved and placed around the venue. That was also a time when no one could even imagine that Amaravati would be declared as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
I remember taking a stroll around the town to visit the museum. As part of my story-hunting, I also met a cotton-growing farmers. They assumed I was a government surveyor for the debt redemption scheme. I maintained my identity as that.
Two months after that story got published on Al Jazeera, I walked into the AP Chief Minister’s Office after being offered a job there. Ever since, I have been a witness to Chief Minister’s hard work for the state.
Especially in the last few months after the Singapore delegation submitted the Master Plans for Amaravati, it has been really hectic. In every meeting that ensued, the Chief Minister stressed on the fact that development works should be evident to people.
From flying to different countries by marketing Andhra Pradesh as the best investment destination to bringing a connection between Amaravati and other countries through Buddhism, this man is doing more than what the state deserves.
Not only has he turned the state from a power deficit to a power surplus one, he has also brought several laurels to it within one year of his administration.
Now, the capital city of Amaravati is taking 17-18 hours of his time and he hardly sleeps. In every meeting on the capital, he pushes the limits further and asks designers, artists and officials to think harder and come up with more innovative ideas.
The idea behind calling it a People’s Capital is his own. The idea of making Amaravati create an emotional bond with people too is his own one. From making the venue for foundation stone the nerve centre of Andhra Pradesh to introducing the #ManaNeeruManaMatti initiative, he has left no stone unturned in converting this into a mass movement.
During discussions on capital, he is an elated person. He loves discussing new ideas, brainstorming on them and seeking suggestions from those in the meeting. In one of the meetings, I remember his idea of “bringing together all Purnakumbhams into a massive sculpture or an idol, signifying the contribution of people to the People’s Capital or may be into Bodhi tree, reflecting its connection with Buddhism.”
That was appreciated by every person in the meeting. Several such ideas came up for discussion including the campaign to club the celebration with Dasara’s Navarati with the Birth of Amaravati. He loved the idea of a Time Capsule for Amaravati and few other ideas such as e-brick crowdfunding initiative and gave a green signal for them.
In all these days, I have only observed the Chief Minister get stronger as a person. He not only wins the award as the man who works for maximum hours but also as the man of the masses.
His vision for Amaravati is a grand one. And, going by his confidence and perseverance, he will prove it to the world.
As a person witnessing him work day and night for the people of Andhra Pradesh and also as a citizen, I’m proud to see my Chief Minister putting his life into building the future of this Sunrise State. Amaravati is not only going to be a show of strength of Telugu people but will also become the pride of India.
Several generations will remain thankful to Chandrababu Naidu for the strong foundations he is laying for the Andhra Pradesh of tomorrow. He is Andhra Pradesh’s Phoenix who has made the state rise from the ashes.
P.S. I support the Chief Minister in his campaign for #ManaAmaravatiManaRajadhani