People in large numbers gather at the statue of Tiranga’s designer
Excitement writ large on the faces of everyone
MP, others hand over flags to run participants
BHATLAPENUMARRU (Krishna Dt.): Patriotism and national fervour swept this small village, as Tiranga Run was flagged off from the native place of the national flag’s designer Pingali Venkaiah on Sunday, with schoolchildren, NCC cadets, political leaders and Venkaiah’s descendants standing witness to the rediscovery of a glorious legacy.
Right from the morning, the atmosphere was charged and excitement was writ large on the faces of young ones and senior citizens, as they came brightly dressed and donned cheerfulness throughout to signify the momentous occasion in the history of the district.
Though the news that Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee was not coming reached the place a bit late, the enthusiasts did not feel let down and looked ever more energetic to go ahead with the run with the same vigour and dynamism.
Residents of the village gathered in large numbers at the statue of Venkaiah, when political leaders and senior citizens garlanded it profusely.
Later, Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, district Collector Navin Mittal and village president Gottiapati Venkata Rao handed over large-size national flags to the frontrunners of the run. Running in villages and riding on motorcycles in unpopulated areas, the flag-bearers carried the fluttering tricolour holding them aloft all through, from Bhatlapenumarru to Vijayawada, nearly 60 km.
Addressing the villagers and participants in a meeting here, Mr. Rajagopal recalled the unparalleled services rendered by Venkaiah and pointed out that it was a matter of pride for all Telugu-speaking population for the national-level recognition that the national flag’s designer had brought by his singular achievement.
“Though Venkaiah designed the flag in Vijayawada, his birthplace is this. It is a matter of pride for all of us. This is why we are organising this to recapture that glory and tell all our countrymen,” the MP said evoking a round of thunderous applause.
All the VIPs on the dais rose to their feet when Venkaiah’s daughter Ghantasala Sitamahalakshmi was called to occupy a chair.
The elderly woman could come on to the dais with difficulty but the way crowds wowed her arrival at the venue bore witness to the esteem that Venkaiah had in the hearts of all people.
Tenali MP Vallabhaneni Balashowrie, Fisheries Minister Mandali Buddha Prasad, Vijayawada Mayor Mallika Begum, MLC Chigurupati Vara Prasad and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.