A string of cultural programmes and display of development achieved in the district in the form of tableaux marked the Republic Day celebrations at the Police Parade Ground here on Thursday.

Unfurling the National Flag, Collector V.N. Vishnu said the sacrifices of those who achieved independence should not be forgotten.

India became a Republic with the effort of many selfless politicians, intellectuals and people in general he observed and called for protecting the country's freedom and integrity. Mr. Vishnu later narrated the progress achieved by the district on agriculture, education, public health and other fronts.

Steps were taken to improve the lot of farmers who were facing a crisis caused by a decline in returns on investments and a steep increase in production costs.

Pulichintala project

The Pulichintala project which was aimed at stabilising an ayacut of 13.08 lakh acres would be completed by the end of this year.

Women empowerment was on top of the Government's agenda. Accordingly, ‘Sthree Nidhi' and others schemes are being implemented.

Mr. Vishnu distributed bank loans amounting to Rs 5 crore to self-help groups and financial assistance to the physically challenged and weaker sections.

Children of Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer, St. Ann's School, Central Public School, Bandlamudi Hanumayamma High School, Government Boys' and Girls' High Schools and other educational institutions enthralled the audience with their cultural performances.

MLCs K.S. Lakshman Rao, Rayapati Srinivas, Singam Basavapunnaiah, MLA Sk. Mastan Vali, Joint Collector N. Yuvaraj, Superintendents of Police S. Syam Sundar and A. Ravi Chandra and others participated.