From being a courier for the ‘Veera Telangana Viplava Dalam’ (Brave Telangana Revolutionary Squad) in the 50s, to being elected an erstwhile Samithi member in the 70s and being privileged to become MLA thrice in succession (1985, 1989 & 1994), this former MLA Kunja Bojji has seen them all.
One would expect him to be well-settled in life, with a fat bank balance, posh house, cars and probably even a farmhouse thrown in. It is here that any resemblance to a majority of peoples’ representatives ends. This man doesn’t have a house, he can call his own and none of the frills attached. He doesn’t even have a car!
Even to this day, at the age of 89, people walk miles and flock their former MLA belonging to the Koya tribe at his not-so-pucca house in remote Adavi Venkanna Gudem village several days a week, with their problems. Their woes include the usual ones in an Agency area, from lack of safe drinking water, unreasonable power cuts extending sometimes to more than 10 hours, to the absence of doctors and non-availability of medicine, bad roads and the like.
To access even reasonable medicare, he has to catch a bus to travel the 20-odd km to V.R. Puram (Vararamachandrapuram) for a physician, or 71 km to Bhadrachalam, or 171 km if he needs specialty care. But the best part is he doesn’t worry. “I have the usual problems associated with blood pressure and sugar levels. I take precautions, apart from keeping myself healthy,” says the man who doesn’t look even 70 years old.
Doesn’t he find it tiring to receive visitors every other day? “Not at all. Being a CPI (M) man for decades, I have never thought of anything for myself. Together with 14 other MLAs from our party, I even gave up houses that Government gave us in the State Capital. What would I do, 300 miles away in Hyderabad ? I am a people’s man and I prefer living that way,” he quips with a smile that is full of genuine modesty.
Kunja Bojji’s 57-year-old son K. Nagi Reddy (so named because Bojji was a close associate of Tarimela Nagi Reddy, is now Sarpanch of Ramavaram panchayat under which Adavi Venkanna Gudem falls.
“I can say I have passed on most of my people’s woes to him,” quips the most-loveable old man, with a twinkle in his eyes.