The 67th Independence Day was celebrated all over the district with patriotic fervour and enthusiasm on Thursday. Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju was the chief guest at the function organised by the district administration at the police stadium.

Security was stepped up at the venue with CRPF constables also on duty this time in view of the ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation. Government employees, who are on strike seeking a unified State, participated but the tableaux explaining the programmes of various departments were absent. Nearly 320 officers and employees belonging to various departments received merit certificates from the Minister.

Mr. Balaraju, in his address, explained in detail the schemes being implemented in the district under the direction of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Huge sums were being spent in the Agency area for providing roads, water supply, buildings, PHCs, training centres, etc., he said. New colleges were coming up.

According to him, 105 heavy industries in addition to the existing 74 heavy industries, were being established in the district with an investment of Rs. 74,695 crore. They could generate jobs for 38,000. A Rs. 14 crore Telugu Museum being built by VUDA was nearing completion, he added.

Collector V. Sheshadri, Commissioner of Police B. Shivadhar Reddy, district officials and others participated. Mr. Balaraju felicitated Boota Achiamma, widow of a freedom fighter Naganna, who had served a jail term with Netaji; general secretary of Freedom Fighters Association Kappala Appa Rao, and a freedom fighter Singam Sitadevi.

Guard of honour

Earlier, he unfurled the national flag and reviewed a guard of honour presented by contingents of APSP, Home Gurads, NCC, which included an all-girl Naval unit and Air Force unit that also has girls, and Green Corps. He also took salute of the march past after his speech. He later distributed assets worth Rs. 25 crore to the beneficiaries selected by various government departments.

Children from ZPHS, Vommavaram in S. Rayavaram mandal; ZPHS, Nudupuru; MPP School, Yendada; KNM Girls High School, Visakhapatnam; Vignan Vidyalayam, Timmapuram; Sacred Heart’s High School, Gnanapuram and APSW Residential Centre of Excellence, Madhurawada presented a cultural programme. It was for the first time that the APSWER CoE participated in the cultural programme and was well received.

Nudupuru school girls performed a dance to the tune of ‘Telugu Jaati Manadi, Ninduga Velugu Jaati Manadi…..’ from a NTR film.

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