The government of both the Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana today marked the occasion of the 195th birth anniversary of Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, a social activist, thinker and anti-caste social reformer, by organising several programs in the latter's honour.
In Telangana, Tourism and Culture Minister Srinivas Goud, BC Welfare Minister Gangula Kamalakar, Social Welfare Minister Koppula Eshwar, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, and ST Welfare Minister Satyavathi Rathod, paid rich tributes to the widely respected social reformer at different programs across the state.
Highlighting his service to the nation, they praised him for fighting for the rights of the backward classes and deprived sections of Indian society.
They also emphasised Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's commitment to turning Phule's ideals into actions which, they claimed, was demonstrated by the KCR government's efforts to work for the welfare of the marginalised and disadvantaged communities in Telangana, in order to build an equitable and inclusive state.
"Inspired by Mahatma Phule's ideals, the KCR government has been working tirelessly for the rapid development of the weaker sections of society. Our CM has implemented several welfare schemes aimed at the uplift of SCs, STs, minorities and women in the state. Despite the efforts of the Opposition to hinder progress, our government has charged ahead and has brought development and welfare to Telangana," Koppula Eshwar asserted.
He added that the KCR regime was fully invested in working towards the uplift of the BC community, and said, "Our schemes are meant for the development of the BCs. They provide welfare and support to all the deprived classes in our state. In fact, Telangana's BC students are being able to pursue higher education at institutions of global repute through our Mahatma Phule Videsh Vidya Nidhi. The development and protection of women have also been top priorities for our government. Mahatma Phule's enduring ideas have always shaped and led our policies. They will continue to inspire us and we will continue to work to bring welfare to the people of our state."
The CM himself had paid rich tributes to Phule
in a statement, yesterday.
In AP, Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan paid rich floral tributes to a portrait of the famed reformer during a function at the Raj Bhavan, and recalled his efforts to fight against the exploitative domination of lower castes by the higher castes, and to make education accessible to women and girls. He commended Phule for devoting his life to the emancipation of the marginalised.
"Jyotiba fought for all those who were discriminated against and ill-treated in Indian society - members of the lower castes and the peasantry, widows, girls who were denied education - and triggered many important changes in our society. He inspired many after to him to take up these causes as well," Harichandan added.
Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy also paid his respects to Phule on the occasion. After offering flowers to a portrait of the reformer, the CM took to Twitter and said that the AP government was "following the path shown by the great leader who had worked for the welfare of the SCs, STs and OBCs", and was "aiming at the welfare of all in the state(sic)".
Among the other leaders who honoured Phule today was AP Tribal Welfare Minister Pamula Pushpa Sreevani. On Twitter, she lauded him for his fight against caste discrimination and for the rights of the poor and dispossessed.