Cricketer and Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday visited Puttamrajuvari Kandrika, the village adopted by him in Nellore district. Sachin unveiled a pylon and laid the foundation stone of a housing project to officially adopt the village and kick-start development activities.
He will allocate Rs 2.79 crore from his MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund to the village for the construction of new roads, a housing project, a school with its own kitchen, an anganwadi, toilets, a drainage line, a community centre and amphitheatre. Once development reaches a certain stage in the village, computers and internet facility would also be provided.
Tendulkar decided to adopt the village, which has a population of 5,000, after a chance meeting on a flight with Nellore joint collector G Rekha Rani, who convinced him over the course of the flight to adopt the village.
After exchanging emails over several days with Nellore collector N Shrikanth, Tendulkar said he had decided to adopt the village. He said he was concerned that the village did not have a safe drinking water supply facility or LPG connections, and people were still using firewood.
This was Tendulkar’s first visit to the village. Locals and people from nearby areas gave him a rousing reception. He had arrived on Saturday night by a helicopter from Chennai and spent the night at a guest house in Krishnapatnam Port. He spent about five hours going around the village and interacting with students, farmers and village officials.
“We will try to develop this into a model village; it should set an example for the rest of the country,” Tendulkar said. “There are many things we plan to do here, including building a school, supplying drinking water and beautifying the nearby lake. The village will look beautiful very soon,” he told the crowd.
While chatting with villagers, Tendulkar asked them to give “equal importance to sons and daughters as they are the future of this nation”. He also asked them to give up alcohol and tobacco, and later an oath was administered to the villagers in this regard.