For this 36-year-old man, it took 40 days and 2,450 km to complete his mission. Chintakayala Srinu, a resident of Arilova in Visakhapatnam, covered 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh on a bicycle to create awareness among the people against “selling” their vote.
Mr. Srinu, who concluded his journey on Monday, says he took off on his “Andhra Pradesh cycle yatra” on February 7 as a direct response to the “injustices that are prevalent in the State.”
Tent and suitcase
On his bicycle, he carries a small tent, his suitcase with clothes, a microphone and a speaker.
He gives speeches at every major town or city he visits. Mr. Srinu says he has spoken to thousands of people all over the State and added that most people he spoke with were against accepting money for a vote. “People are afraid to refuse money given by a leader. If they refuse the money, the leader immediately thinks that the person is going to vote for the rival party and may target him or her later,” said Mr. Srinu.
The social activist not only speaks to people but also meets District Collectors and Revenue officials in all the districts to spread his message.
“If the Collector is not available, then I speak to the Joint Collector,” he added
Mr. Srinu, a tile and stone designer, earns ₹600 per day as a labourer. He is married with two children, a boy and a girl, studying in fourth and third classes respectively.
When asked if he misses his family, he said that he spends 11 months in a year with the family and one month for the country.
Earlier in May 2018, he walked from Visakhapatnam to Amaravati for 21 days to create awareness on health and education.
He says that government hospitals and schools had been on a downward spiral and it is one of his priorities to work for them.
Talking about political parties, he said: “Many politicians have called me, asking me to join their party. They say that their and my goals are similar. But I refused to meet politicians and their representatives. I speak only with the people.”