ANR Kala Kendram at Ramapuram houses rare photographs of the veteran actor’s six-decade-long film career
RAMAPURAM (Krishna dist.): This picturesque village in Nandiwada mandal of Krishna district throbbed with much activity on Wednesday as thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao along with a few of his family members paid a visit to his birthplace on the occasion of inauguration of ANR Kala Kendram, a museum about his life and film career, as well several other developmental works.
ANR, who recently turned 85, arrived along with daughter Naga Suseela, daughters-in-law Jyotsna and Amala and grand children Sumanth, Supriya and Akhil. He spent about half-a-day in the village.
Cynosure of all eyes
The 15-year-old Akhil, remembered for his acting skills as an adorable infant in the film ‘Sisindri’, was the cynosure of all eyes as schoolchildren and others vied for his autograph even as he coyly sat along with his doting mother.
ANR Kala Kendram, which was inaugurated by Roads & Buildings Minister Galla Aruna Kumari, has been designed by ANR’s childhood friends A.S. Narayana and Atluri Swamy as a gallery of several rare photographs of his six-decade-long film career and also as a centre to impart self-employment skills to women.
The gallery has a valuable collection of pictures of stills from some of his popular films and his photographs with contemporary film personalities like NTR, Sivaji Ganesan, Ghantasala, Amitabh Bachchan and others.
At a meeting organised on the occasion, ANR said that he felt it was his duty to do something to his birthplace as a gesture of “thanksgiving”, though he had no properties and relatives in the village. He recalled visiting the village during the TDP regime for participating in Janmabhoomi programmes.
“I do not think that I’m doing anything extraordinary here. If people like me decide to do something at their birth places, many others settled abroad may get inspired to contribute a part of their income to the development of their villages, which will ultimately develop the nation,” the veteran actor said.
Turning slightly emotional, ANR said he was already 85 and there was no guarantee that he would be able to visit the village again. “I have come to seek your blessings, and this happiness may make me continue with life for some more years,” he rounded off. Amala, speaking in halting Telugu, stole the hearts of villagers by talking about the need for education of girls, welfare of widows, stopping child marriages and giving up the use of plastic.