Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: In true Sarvodaya spirit, G.S.N. Sarma, 65, rendered yeoman service, albeit in a small way, in helping flood-hit people of Kurnool.

Mr. Sarma, who took voluntary retirement from Railways in 2002, led a three-member team from the city after hearing that flood had ravaged several areas in Kurnool. After collecting a donation of Rs.5,970 from some concerned people for contribution to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and some relief material given by HMTV and others, he went to Kurnool. Now he is back in the city for a short break.

During his stay at Mushelimadugu, 130 km from Kurnool in Nalamalla forests, he proved how one can serve being an elderly person in hastening the process for relief and resettlement in a disaster-hit area. He is again planning to go and stay in the village till March to supervise unfinished task.

Mr. Sarma has not only motivated the village sarpanch Seelam Das, teachers and others on how to clear the road on which floodwater and mud had been drained out from their houses and get potable drinking water, but also taught yoga to students and others. “Even in my absence, they are practising yoga,” he told The Hindu on Wednesday. He thinks motivation always does wonders. “I was instrumental in holding the first grama sabha in the village comprising a population of 3,500. Fifty per cent of them are Muslims, 20 per cent BCs, another 20 per cent SCs and five per cent are tribals,” he said. At the meeting, a discussion was held on how to maintain sanitation and restore normality. After backwater from Srisailam caused a trail of devastation in the village damaging fully 75 houses, the villagers took shelter atop the hills. “Today, they are all confident of leading a normal life,” he says with a sense of pride, after sleeping in a school in the village and taking whatever food was offered to him by the villagers.