Rich tributes were paid to freedom fighter Dr Boinapally Venkata Rama Rao popularly known as Karimnagar Gandhi and Bo Ve Ra, who passed away at 94 in Hyderabad on Monday. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao would attend the funeral which is being organised by the government in Karimnagar on Tuesday.
Finance and civil supplies minister Etela Rajender, Karimnagar MP B. Vinod Kumar and MLA Gangula Kamalakar, Karimnagar Zilla Parishad chairperson Tula Uma and district Congress president K. Mrityunjayam, former Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar and former TRS MLC Laxman Naradasu paid homage to the freedom fighter. Several literary and voluntary organisations too paid homage to the nonagenarian. He was born on September 2, 1920.
Inspired by Gandhi’s ideology, he actively participated in independence struggle, Quit India movement, Gram Swaraj, Vandematharam and Library movements. He donated his seven acres of land to the poor while participating in Bhudan movement.
Rao was a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his ideology. He was very much attracted to Gandhian ideology of Satyagraha, nonviolence and peace after meeting Gandhi at Kazipet Railway Station in Warangal in 1945.
He operated night schools to offer education to rural men and women and conducted remarriages to several widows in Karimnagar district. Similarly, he had worked hard for abolishing social menaces: bonded labour, caste system, dowries and child marriages. He was fondly called as Thotapalli Gandhi, Karimnagar Gandhi and Telangana Gandhi.
Mr. Rao was once ostracized by his own community for allowing members of weaker sections into his residence. He was honoured by title ‘Harijana Bandhu’ by residents of Thotapally.
He established a library at the age of 19 in his residence, to provide an opportunity for the villagers to study books.
Mr Rao was jailed many times and tortured for opposing administration of the rulers. He ran a parallel government against Nizam administration with the help his associates and volunteers. He staged disobedience by not paying taxes imposed by Nizam government.
Rao worked with Golconda Pathrika and has also authored many books in Telugu including ‘Gandhi Tatwam’ and ‘Karimnagar Zilla Devalayamulu’. His testimony was included in the book titled ‘Who’s Who In the 21st Century’ published by Nicholas S. Law of the UK in 2002.
Source: Deccan Chronicle