Remembering YSR: Exemplary Dedication To Farmers’ Welfare

 - Sakshi Post

"If the farmer is happy, the entire nation is happy," Andhra Pradesh former Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy, popularly called YSR, has once famously said. Such was his vision for the farmer of the state, that he made extraordinary reforms in the agricultural sector and his pro-farmer reforms were hailed by all. Fondly revered as 'People's CM', he launched several welfare programmes and irrigation schemes in the state.

Born on July 8, 1949, in Pulivendula in the backward Rayalaseema region, YSR has always striven to secure and safeguard the rights of the poor and the underprivileged.

Till the time the Congress rode to power in 2004 under his stewardship following his path-breaking Padayatra across the state, ‘farmers' welfare’ was a euphemism that had been a mere ritualistic item in administration and governance. As soon as he assumed power, Dr YSR brought in a slew of schemes aimed at alleviating the condition of the farmer, including free electricity to the tiller. During his Padayatra, Dr YSR observed on a first-hand basis that the farmer did not get adequate electricity and water, which left him high and dry, year after year.

Immediately after taking over as chief minister, Dr YSR proved to be a ‘messiah for farmers’ of the state by issuing orders waiving farmers' loans and directing free supply of electricity to the agricultural sector.

YSR’s reforms always presented a human face while he unswervingly focused on programmes for improving irrigation. The Dr YSR-led Congress government provided free electricity to the agriculture sector, which was part of his 'Green Andhra' vision.

Jalayagnam, Dr YSR's pioneering initiative to provide irrigation and drinking water to all parts of the state, was a far-sighted step to turn all regions of Andhra Pradesh into verdant expanses. Polavaram, Veligonda in Prakasam district, and Pranahita-Chevella lift irrigation project in Telangana, were among many irrigation projects Dr YSR envisioned for a ‘green state’ in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Jalayagnam or Jala Yagnam, (water worship) was a major election promise to the farmers of the state to bring 8.2 million acres under irrigation through the construction of major, medium and minor irrigation projects in five years and Dr YSR stood up to it.

The Jala Yagnam project helped Andhra Pradesh make significant progress in sustainable agriculture by making wastelands cultivable.

The present YSR Congress party government led by his son and dynamic Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has declared July 8, his birth anniversary, as 'Farmers Day' to be celebrated every year. It was YSR’s monumental steps that inspire CM YS Jagan base his system of governance. In a nutshell, ‘Rajanna Rajyam’, Dr YSR's ideal, was an inclusive model of welfare governance.

The Andhra Pradesh government on May 15 this year released Rs 2,800 crore as investment incentive ahead of the kharif season under the Rythu Bharosa-PM Kisan scheme, benefiting nearly 50 lakh farmers.

Under the scheme, farmers will get financial assistance of Rs 13,500 per annum in three phases, the first being Rs 7,500, followed by Rs 4,000 as second installment to be released in October and the final installment of Rs 2,000 will be credited on Sankranti in January. The scheme is extended to tenant farmers, endowment lands and assigned lands as well.

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