If there is one relatively anonymous village which has shot to fame in recent years, it is Ichchapuram. What is special about Ichchapuram? What gives it the hallowed place it has come to occupy in the recent history of Andhra Pradesh? What does it have to make it a household name in the Telugu states.
It all began with Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy‘s Padayatra in 2003. His historic march as the leader of opposition in the undivided Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly, powered the Congress party in to the helm of affairs in the state in the 2004 elections, unseating Chandrababu Naidu. Importantly, it helped Dr. YSR to formulate a blueprint for the governance of the state through pioneering initiatives centering on the poor. Be it waiver of farmers' loans, free power supply to the agriculture sector, irrigation projects under Jalayagnam, Arogyasri, fee reimbursement, among a host of other people-centric programmes, Dr. YSR could envision a slew of programmes focussing on the welfare of the people of the state.
Dr YSR undertook his famous Padayatra from the Ranga Reddy district and walked through the length and breath of undivided Andhra Pradesh to reach the north- eastern tip on the Odisha border where the village is located. During the course of his long Padayatra, Dr. YSR faced scorching sun and braved adverse weather conditions. His concluding point drew the village into national attention. The eyes of the national media turned towards this tiny village in Srikakulam bringing it into sharp focus.
When Dr YSR‘s daughter and YSR Congress Party President, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy‘s sister, YS Sharmila, took up her celebrated march to expose the authoritarian rule of the Congress party, she decided to follow in her father's footsteps. She undertook her Maro Prasthanam at a time when her brother and YSR Congress party president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was in prison. He was incarcerated for 16 months after false cases were filed against him. It was under such trying circumstances that YS Sharmila took up her Padayatra. She decided to walk along the same route on her walkathon striking a chord with the people everywhere.
YS Sharmila also decided to conclude her Padayatra at Ichchapuram and once again the small village became the focus of media attention. Over the last few days all eyes are once again turned towaords this small village in Srikakulam district. A massive pylon has been erected to mark the conclusion of the historic walkathon which YS Jagan took up on November 6, 2017 from Idupulapaya in Dr. YSR district.