KADAPA: Manavata, an NGO, launched by a native of Kadapa district has become a platform for teachers, lecturers, bankers, software professionals, government employees and even farmers and retired employees to help those in need of medical aid or financial support for education or any other help. In the last one-and-a-half decade, many people received help from Manavata.
The organisation, which played a crucial role in serving the needy during Covid crisis in the State, was started with just 108 members in 2004 by Nimmanapalle Ramachandra Reddy in Jangareddygudem of West Godavari district. Today, it has more than 35,000 members, spread over 75 mandals in eight districts.
The 70-year-old Ramachandra Reddy from Bandapalle in Rayachoti mandal of Kadapa district began his career as a government college lecturer in 1975 at Jangareddygudem in West Godavari district. Soon after he became the principal of the college, with the help of his students, faculty and parents of the students along with people of Jangareddygudem, he established Manavata, a voluntary organisation in July 2004. Initially, Manavata focused its attention on helping the accident victims and their families.
Strongly believing that providing medical emergency services during the golden hour can save lives, the organisation started ambulance service in 2004 along with providing blood and other medical aid. At that time 108 services were not there and ambulance services of Manavata proved a lifesaver. In just one year, lives of 200 people, who were injured in road accidents, were saved. Manavata’s services were well-appreciated and in a short time, the organisation had its units in all the mandals of West Godavari district and the expansion process is continuing.
After 108 emergency services were introduced in the State, Manavata members started thinking of alternative ways to serve the people. Finding that requirement of blood is important to save the lives of people in critical hours, the organisation prepared a database of people with different blood groups, who are willing to donate blood, so in time of need, they can extend help. In 2006, a student impressed by the services of Manavata, donated a mortuary freezer and it sparked the idea among members of Manavata to have similar mortuary freezers at all its units, so as to help the people in need. Today, there are 360 freezers in eight districts.
After T Satyanarayana of Jangareddygudem donated Rs 5 lakh for Shanti Ratham (mortuary van) to help those finding it difficult to shift the bodies from hospital to their house or burial grounds. Mortuary vans were named Shanti Ratham so that it can be used by people of all faiths. If it were named Vaikunta Ratham, it would only be confined to Hindus. People need not pay for the vehicle for a distance of 25 km and thereafter they have to bear the fuel expenditure.
Lending a helping hand to meritorious students from poor financial background pursuing higher education, Manavata extends an aid of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. Besides, helping students financially, it also organises workshops on career guidance and skill training for students. With an aim to take care of its own members, Manavata started ‘Atmiya Sahakaram’ and whenever death was reported in the family or relatives of a member, other members of the organisation would visit the house of that member.
Besides observing silence as a mark of respect, the members also arrange for tea, tiffin and lunch for the visitors to the house. The NGO also involved itself in environmental conservation and took up planting of saplings on a large scale, striving for creating awareness about harm being done by plastic waste. Further, it started providing drinking water through tankers in areas, where water scarcity is more. Organisers said that if the government provides three cents of land wherever Manavata units are there, it will construct modern burial grounds.
Leading the fight against hunger
Manavata founder Ramachandra Reddy after retiring from service in 2008, stayed four years more in Jangareddygudem to stabilise the organisation before returning to his native village Bandapalle in Kadapa district in 2012 and since then expanding the organisation activities in Kadapa and other districts. During Covid crisis, apart from using its emergency vehicles for shifting people to hospitals, the NGO also distributed essential commodities to people. When people of areas under Buggavanka suffered due to floods, Manavata was the first to extend a helping hand