Military Madhavaram marches on to the front line

Village in West Godavari where everyone has a soldier connection to get Army Training Centre

Updated - May 31, 2016 05:46 am IST

Published - May 31, 2016 12:00 am IST - MILITARY MADHAVARAM (West Godavari)

HOMAGE TO MARTYRS:The villagers have built a memorial for soldiers on the lines of New Delhi’s Amar Jawan Jyoti.

HOMAGE TO MARTYRS:The villagers have built a memorial for soldiers on the lines of New Delhi’s Amar Jawan Jyoti.

: This is not a garrison town, but almost everyone here has some connection to the defence services. With a 300-year old history of sending its men to serve in the Army, Military Madhavaram, a small village 60 km away from the district headquarters, has even inspired films.

Now, the Defence Ministry has zeroed in on it as the site for an Army Training Centre and other connected projects. Bharat Dynamics, a public sector weapons manufacturer, will spend Rs.11.37 crore towards development, and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will lay the foundation stone for the training centre.

Military Madhavaram is famed for sending men for armed service for centuries. It was the base of the king of Arugolanu, Madhava Brahma Varma in the 17th century from whom it derives its name. During colonial rule, youth from the village flocked to the military and participated in major wars.

Nearly 90 soldiers from this remote area were in World War I theatres, and in World War II, that figure shot up to 1,110. A dozen soldiers laid down their lives. Jawans from Military Madhavaram took part in the China and Pakistan wars later. Today, 250 soldiers posted in Jammu and Kashmir and on the Pakistan border are from here. The villagers have built a memorial for soldiers on the lines of New Delhi’s Amar Jawan Jyoti.

With development on the way, residents of the village located in Tadepalligudem mandal hope their problems with transport, education and health care will find resolution.

‘Contribution recognised’

Pydikondala Manikyala Rao, Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister and Tadepalligudem MLA, is satisfied that the Defence Ministry has acknowledged the village’s contributions and decided to develop it. “In the first phase, an Army Training Centre will be established with support from BDL,” he says.

The village inspires ‘patriots and the present younger generation’ keen on joining the Army. Girls here want to marry an Army man. Telugu director Krish found Military Madhavaram’s history so interesting that he made the national award-winning film Kanche based on its story. Shree Ramanan, daughter of Urrika Seetaramaiah, an ex-serviceman, produced a documentary on Military Madhavaram which is on YouTube.

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