RTC Kadapa Regional Manager to unveil Gandhi's statue at Rajampet depot today
APSRTC employees of Rajampet depot, cutting across union lines, have contributed their might with a patriotic fervour to install a three-and-half foot statue of Mahatma Gandhi, built a roof over it on four pillars to save it from the scorching sun and rainfall.
They have also developed a garden around it to beautify the RTC depot premises, which is the first of its kind in Kadapa district.
The statue, carved in white stone by sculptors of Allagadda in Kurnool district with Gandhi sitting in a meditation, was painted in gold colour. The roof atop the statue was built a la a temple ‘gopuram' and has a gold-coloured ‘poornakumbham' at the apex. The pillars of the roofed structure are decorated impressively with tiles that depict Bharat Matha, the national flag and Mahatma Gandhi's sayings.
Grass was raised in the garden and trees like ‘jammi', ‘raavi' and ‘thella jilledu', to which devotees pray in temples are being planted. Two taps were provided in the garden not to water the plants, but to quench the thirst of commuters.
The statue will be unveiled by APSRTC Kadapa Regional Manager V. Nagasivudu on November 12 morning and RTC Deputy Chief Traffic Manager V.V. Ramana Rao will inaugurate the garden. Widows of two freedom fighters Raghavaraju Ammanemma, 81 and Raghavaraju Seetha Lakshmamma, 84, will unveil the national flag put up near the Gandhi statue. The RTC employees of Rajampet have decided to utilise the occasion to exhibit their social service approach by inviting 30 inmates of Bapuji Home for the Aged at Boyinapalle on Rajampet outskirts and distributing blankets to them.
The entire project costing around Rs. 2 lakh was the brainchild of APSRTC Deputy Superintendent of Rajampet depot K. Reddaiah, who will retire in about six months, and he contributed about a quarter of the required sum and pooled up the remaining amount by way of contributions from the RTC employees of the area.
Plans are afoot to arrange a sound system in the garden to play devotional songs, lighting to illuminate the statue during night time and make arrangements for meditation, Mr. Reddaiah told The Hindu. It would not only beautify the RTC depot premises, but promote a patriotic spirit among the people and passerby, he said. The Gandhi statue was proposed to be unveiled on October 2, but was delayed and the employees decided to go ahead with the programme on November 12, without waiting for two more months until January 30, Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary.