Mallikarjun says that his shop has become an effective tool to propagate the cause of a unified State
A grocery store near Ayyappa Swamy temple at Gollapudi in Vijayawada grabs the attention of the passers-by. It is the name of the store written in red in bold – Samaikhyandra General Stores that attracts one's attention while zooming along National Highway no. 9. K. Mallikarjun, the owner, opened the shop three years ago.
“Telugu Desam Party MLA Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao inaugurated it,” he announces it with a sense of pride. Head of the Mathematics Department in NRI College at Gollapudi, Mallikarjun leaves the responsibility to run the shop in his absence on his wife.
Mr. Mallikarjun says he opened the shop with a service motto. “There are some 80 apartments in this part of Gollapudi. The watchmen of these apartment buildings have migrated to this place along with their families from Ichchapuram in Srikakulam district in search of livelihood. I wanted to serve them in some way and so, I opened this shop and supply groceries to them at reasonable rates,” he says. “All of them have opened a khaata (monthly debt accounts) and if there is any problem, financial or otherwise, they share it with me or my wife and we try to solve it,” he says.
Mr. Mallikarjun is happy that the name of his shop attracts attention of the passers-by. “This way, it will be known far and wide and for a long time to come,” he smiles. He also owns a hotel at Kattubadipalem near Kondapally. “What is currently ‘Jyothi hotel” will soon be called “Samaikhyandra Hotel”. The name change has been there in my mind for a long time. I will soon implement it,” he says, explaining how lorry drivers and cleaners passing by that route get to eat a full meal for Rs. 35.
“Serving them in my own small way gives me a sense of satisfaction. I am glad that my shop has become an effective tool to propagate the concept of a united Andhra Pradesh,” he says.