Allowing themselves to be swept away by the wave of patriotism, city dwellers on Monday celebrated the 65th Independence Day with pomp and gaiety. Rising above caste, creed, community, and religion, people became part of the festivities that focussed on the pivotal role played by freedom fighters and called to ensure that the fruits of freedom reached people at the grassroots level.

At the Krishna District Lorry Owners' Association building near Benz Circle, association president Potluri Raghavendra Rao hoisted the Indian flag and called upon people to rise above parochial issues to wage a war against corruption. General secretary Y.V. Eeswara Rao, Y. Dhanakoteswara Rao, Y. Gouranga Babu, N. Subbarao, and T. Lakshman Swamy also participated.

Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax G. Sudhakar utilised the occasion to egg the department personnel on to work with a renewed vigour.

After hoisting the tricolour on the office premises Mr. Sudhakar said that the style of functioning of the department personnel directly impacts the nation's progress.

The 65{+t}{+h} Independence Day was celebrated at the Armed Reserve parade grounds with Commissioner of Police N. Madhusudhana Reddy unfurling the national flag.

He was accompanied by other police personnel and civilians watching it with the police band playing the national anthem.

The Police Commissioner watched the cultural programmes presented by schoolchildren and later interacted with them. He gave away certificates to the meritorious police staff and citizens followed by presenting mementoes.

Members of the Telugu Desam Party celebrated Independence Day at the party district office. Party district secretary Ramanjaneya hoisted the national flag. Party Secretary speaking on the occasion said, in 65 years since Independence the Government had failed in eradicating poverty from the face of India. According to economists' findings, our country was a mix of both the rich and poor co-existing.

Felicitated

Former Mayor Mallika Begum attended the Independence Day celebrations at Joyalukkas showroom on Bandar Road. The showroom manager felicitated ex-servicemen on the occasion.

At Gunadala Matha Shrine, Fr. M. Chinnappa said the supreme sacrifices made by freedom fighters should not be forgotten at any cost.

Members of Walkers' Association of Patamata High School hoisted the tricolour near Patamata Rythu Bazar. Vijayawada MLA Yalamanchili Ravi and district governor W1 202 M.R.S. Prakash Rao were chief guests, while V.V. Rama Rao presided over the event. NSM Walkers' Association secretary K. Balaramakrishnaiah and others participated.

General secretary of C. Rajagopalachari Municipal Market Vegetable Traders' Association Navaneetam Sambasiva Rao said fruits of Independence must reach people at the grassroots level.

The all-important day was also celebrated with patriotic zeal by managements and students of colleges. D. Vijay Sree, Principal of Government Junior College, Akunuru, Krishna district, led the celebrations at the institution. K.B.G. Tilak, Assistant Manager of Indian Overseas Bank, Andhra Loyola College branch, was the chief guest.

At Velagapudi Ramakrishna Siddhartha Engineering College, Kanuru, principal K. Mohana Rao hoisted the national flag and delivered an impressive I-Day message to students.

Students of Nalanda Degree College were told to inculcate the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice. NCC unit 3 (A) commanding officer Lt. Col. K. Sivaji, the chief guest, said service to society must be given priority.

Students of Sri Chaitanya Day Scholars Mahila Kalasala also celebrated the occasion with great enthusiasm.

Kanna's call

Housing Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana has called for greater public participation in the implementation of various welfare schemes.

Speaking at the 65th Independence Day celebrations at Police Parade Grounds on Monday, Mr. Lakshminarayana said that State government would continue to give priority to agriculture and pointed out that the district administration surpassed the target of disbursing Rs.2,315.20 crore as crop loan during last year. During the current year, the target was fixed at Rs.2,843.58 crore.

The district stands first in the State after disbursing Rs.50 crore to 40, 380 licensed cultivators.

Crop loans were rescheduled and greater thrust had been placed on implementing modern farm practices in the cultivation of horticulture crops. The district stands second in the Indiramma Housing Scheme and completed construction of 1.43 lakh houses out of the target of 2.3 lakh houses.

The Minister also announced that the State government had enhanced the unit cost from Rs. 34,250 to Rs. 48,050 in rural areas and from Rs. 43,000 to Rs.55,000.

On the self-linkage programmes, 22,500 women were included in the Janasri Rikshabandhu scheme of the government. The district administration had laid thrust on the rural development programmes and has undertaken comprehensive land development schemes in 4,500 acres. Under the watershed programmes, 33,000 of fallow land was developed into fertile region.

Earlier, the Minister unfurled the national flag and inspected the guard of honour.

The march past of Armed Reserve contingent was led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Srinivasa Rao. The Minister also gave away commendation certificates to officers.

District Collector V.N. Vishnu, Superintendent of Police A. Ravichandra, Joint Collector N. Yuvaraj, and Additional Joint Collector K. Sarada Devi were present.

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