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Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Weednesday inaugurated projects worth Rs 6 crore at his adopted village of Puttamrajuvari Kandriga near Gudur, 110 km from Tirupati, as people thronged the area to accord a grand welcome to him. This is Tendulkar’s second visit to the village with a population of just 600. Hundreds of villagers, including women and children from nearby areas, thronged the region to have a glimpse of Tendulkar who was accompanied by top district officials. A couple Vijaylakshmi and Gopalaiah, in their fifties, were the happiest as the cricket legend arrived at their house to have a cup of tea as promised by him during his earlier visit. He also blessed their newly wed son and daughter-in-law during his brief stay there.
Tendulkar asked district officials to let him know about any other facilities to be taken up for development of the village. Later, at a brief function arranged at the new school playground, he announced that he would adopt Gollapalli village, half a km from Puttamrajuvari Kandriga. It would be developed with an amount of about Rs 3.05 crore, he said. Tendulkar said his adopted village had witnessed “tremendous” change with proper facilities and people have learnt to keep the village hygienic. “I am very happy for this,” he said, adding he would visit the village again.The sports star was in the village for about 90 minutes interacting with residents, including self-help groups for women, elderly, youth and children.
Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha MP, had adopted the village in Andhra Pradesh in November 2014 as part of the PM’s Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). The initiative involves converting the village, housing 120 families, into a smart one. Tendulkar had in November 2014, laid foundation stone for 15 projects, including a school playground, concrete streets, electricity, 24 hours drinking water supply, toilets and a furnished community hall with an allocation of Rs 2.80 crore from his MP Local Area Development Scheme (LADS) fund.
The Nellore district administration had also contributed Rs 3.20 crore to strengthen Tendulkar’s mission to transform the undeveloped village into a model one, officials said. Tendulkar, who arrived by a helicopter from Chennai, affectionately advised the villagers to keep the environs hygienic to live a healthy and happy life.