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Andhra’s ‘little Shravan Kumar’ takes social media by storm

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Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh), Sep 4: At an age when he should be spending time with school books, 8-year-old Gopala Krishna is bravely shouldering his family responsibilities, by driving an electric autorickshaw on the dusty village roads near the temple town of Tirupati.

A video of the child has gone viral, after a local youth captured the boy at work.

Poverty and fate have forced the boy to take the hard road at a tender age. Just like Shravan Kumar in Ramayan, was the ideal son who carried his parents on his shoulders, Gopala tries to help out his parents in every way possible.

Both his parents were born visually impaired and have been getting government assistance of Rs 3,000 each.

Gopal also has two younger siblings to take care of. The family of five lives in Gangudupalle village in Chittoor district. After school hours, the boy drives the e-autorickshaw to ferry people and supplies for his blind parents who run a small rice and staples business.

His father Papi Reddy said that his eldest son is like a pair of eyes. “He does everything. It’s like my brain and his eyes are working together” (just outside his body).

To tide them through hard times, the family purchased the e-autorickshaw on instalment basis. However with both parents unfit to drive it on account of their visual disability, Gopal, a Class 3 student rose to the occasion.

The video shows the little kid perched on the seat’s edge, straining to keep his feet on the brake pedal, should the need arise.

Concerns have been raised about such a young child driving the vehicle. As per the law, only licensed drivers can operate vehicles with speeds above 25 kmph. While local authorities are silent on the issue, TDP president Nara Lokesh has announced help for Gopala Krishna Reddy.

Apart from helping the child’s family cover the EMI cost of the electric vehicle through a fundraiser, Lokesh tweeted Friday, that they will get the boy admitted to school.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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