Model village gears up for silver jubilee - The New Indian Express

Model village gears up for silver jubilee

Published: 20th December 2012 09:24 AM

Last Updated: 20th December 2012 09:24 AM

A little hamlet that prides itself as a model of village governance is gearing up to celebrate the 25th year of its founding. Sri Venkateshwara Nagar, some 8 km from Tirupati, is renowned in these parts for the spirit of cooperation among its people.

For 25 years since its founding, the villagers of S V Nagar unfailingly contribute towards their development work every month, be it to build a school, lay a road, construct a drinking water or drainage system. The happy village is going to celebrate the silver jubilee of its founding on Dec. 24, 25 and 26.

The founding of this idyllic village has a story behind it. The village was founded by about 100 families belonging to the backward class Gouda caste. They used to be natives of Permallapalli, now in Tirupati rural mandal, but in 1980 differences developed with the higher caste people of that village and they were barred from drawing water from the village well. The 100 Gouda families united and dug a 48 ft well for themselves within 48 hours under the leadership of an elder, Tummala Kistappa.

Though there were no major clashes with the upper castes thereafter, the 100 families decideed to move away. They approached local leaders and asked for a site under the government’s housing scheme where they might build their own community.

As all the 100 families belonged to the below-the-poverty-line category, local politicians secured for them an allotment half a kilometre from the Cherlopalle crossroads on the Tirupati-Srinivasa Mangapuram road.

The government gave them a sum of Rs 6,000 to each family to build a house. As the money was not sufficient, the villagers got together and decided to build their houses with their own labour, Construction was completed in 1986 and most of the villagers moved in in 1987. They named their village after their favourite deity and called in Sri Venkateshwara Nagar, S V Nagar for short.

S V Nagar is now a hamlet just a  stone’s throw from their native village of Perumallapalli. The dispute with the people of their mother village has long ended, and the people of SV Nagar conduct their affairs in the spirit of their founding.

The villagers started an organisation called Sri Venkateswara Eediga Yuajana Sangam under the aegis of which they take up local development work. An example: the government gave them Rs 1.7 lakh to build a two-room primary school building. The money was nowhere near enough, so the villagers joined hands and raised Rs 3 lakh from their own pocket. The school is now replete with all that a school should have.

This spirit of cooperation is fostered through a monthly village meet, which has never been interrupted since the founding of 25 years ago. The president of the Sri Venkateswara Eediga Yuajana Sangam, Tummala Chengaiah, says that all disputes are solved through the counsel of elders and no police case have ever been filed against any villager.

When the village was founded, each villager was required to contribute Rs 2 to the village development fund every month. That has gone up to Rs 40 now, but has never stopped. To manage the collection of Rs 7,000 each month, one villager has been entrusted the management of the drainage system and the remaining amount is spent on exigencies like borewell repairs, power maintenance, etc. Though the Tirupati rural mandal is notorious for water scarcity, S V Nagar has never had a water  problem.

The people of S V Nagar never wait for government officials to come and do their work. The fare price shop in the village is run by the Yuvajana Sangam.

The local minister Galla Aruna Kumari, Chittoor MP N Sivaprasad and other political leaders including Madu Yashki Goud and others have been invited to participate.

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