Guntur is a small town in Andhra Pradesh, about 31 kilometers from Vijayawada. But it has the biggest and most important personalities as guides to the lost traveler. No, I am not joking. Visit Guntur and you will understand why I said that.
As soon as we left the highway, the town was flooded with statues of famous personalities. After every five hundred feet, you can spot Indira Gandhi, or Rajiv Gandhi, Ambedkar, YSR, Mother Teresa or even SV Ranga Rao at important junctions. I was so amazed to see these icons standing on platforms, waving to the passerby’s or pointing in a direction which they favored. I realized that Guntur is popular for this craft and you can come across many shops making these. Hold on Madame Tussad’s, Guntur Wax Museum is on the way!
Though documenting some of these dignitaries was fun, I had to stop at Guntur Ladies Circle No.39 project. The Daya Hrudaya Seva Samstha runs a Street Orphan Children Home on Amravathi Road. The organization was started in 1993 by Dr.Dayakar and his wife Dr.Sarala Devi. Ever since, the orphanage houses 50 children who are given clothes, food, medicines, education, shelter and vocational training. The children are taught meditation and it is compulsory to pray every morning, which includes the shlokas from the Bhagwad Gita. The prayer room has images of all Gods and Goddess’s without any barriers of religion.
The Ladies Circle has been doing various activities at this school, the latest being the donation of a R.O. Water purifier, which is installed in the kitchen. They have also contributed to 100kg of rice every month for the last seven years. Moreover, beds have been donated for the elder children by one of the circlers. The ladies usually come back to this school to celebrate important days like Republic Day, Independence Day and Children’s Day.
I was on my way to see another project in Nutakkai, a village in between Vijayawada and Guntur. The school, Vijyanavihara, is a Government run school with more than five hundred children. The Round Table, together with Ladies Circle have built five classrooms at a cost of Rs 12,00,000. On the way out of Guntur, don’t miss the many statues that flock the road to see you off! And yes, make sure you catch hold of a Guntur Idli for lunch. Its spicy but worth it!