KADAPA: His mother’s advice to him was to feed those who are hungry and for the past seven years, he has followed her advice in letter and spirit by providing food for the needy. Meet Singareddy Govardhan Reddy, a 66-year-old businessman, who runs a group of educational institutions in Kadapa and is member of the governing council of Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati and Yogi Vemana University in Kadapa.
At a time when preparing food for guests in the house has become a Herculean task, Govardhan Reddy has been feeding hundreds of people every Monday at the Kadapa Collectorate. From the past seven years, he has been feeding those who come to submit their petitions during Spandana. Seven years ago, Govardhan Reddy desired to help people and went to his mother S Adinarayanamma for advice. She told him that giving money to people would make them forget those who had helped them once the money is spent, hence it is favourable to provide food for those who are hungry.
After giving it much thought, he decided to provide food to those coming to give their petitions at the Collectorate on Monday every week. Govardhan Reddy says many people come from across the district. “They spend around `300 per trip for bus transport and spend `40 on autos to reach the Collectorate, while some come on foot. Majority of them cannot afford to buy food, which is not available near the college. So I thought it would be better to help these people,” he said.
He started his noble deed at the old Collectorate building and continued it when it was shifted to its new premises. Every Monday, from the break of dawn, he engages people to cook food for 1,000 people on an average—rice, dal, curry, rasam, buttermilk, and sometimes pulgama and pickle. He purchased the entire kitchen set for cooking food, which keeps at one of his educational institutions. Cooking food for one time costs around `30,000.
Not only the people who come to the Collectorate with their petitions are served food, but also auto-rickshaw drivers, those going to RIMS Hospital, Collectorate staff. When he started the programme in 2014, then Collector KV Ramana appreciated him and took part in serving food to the people. Collectors who succeeded Ramana, including KV Satyanarayana, Baburao Naidu, Harikrian, Joint Collector Swetha Tevetia also followed his example.
During the pandemic, temporary food distribution on Mondays was stopped at the Collectorate, and it was resumed four weeks ago. During lockdown, food distribution was carried out at RIMS Hospital for the patients and attendants. “I followed my mother’s advice to the ‘T’ and continued distributing food. Appeasing the hunger of people gives me immense satisfaction, and I will continue it till my last breath,” Govardhan Reddy says.