Published: 20th December 2018
After contesting and losing elections, Ravadi Kantha Rao tells us why his will remains unbeatable
Rao feels that political parties should focus on integrating youth into their parties and developing a second-level of leadership
Ravadi Kantha Rao had everything going for him. The 30-year-old is a social entrepreneur who has taken several initiatives under his non-profit Planet 3 Protection Alliance, the most well-known ones being Harithon, a marathon for the environment and Shubhra Hyderabad, a Swachh Bharat mission which drew in corporates and youngsters alike. As a man who had done a lot for the society already, this year in October, he decided to take it to the next level. He quit his job at S&P Global, where he had been working for seven years, and decided to contest in the Telangana Legislative Assembly election.
I will remain in touch with the people of my constituency over the weekends and keep them engaged through social media
Ravadi Kantha Rao, Serial entrepreneur (Pic: Ravadi Kantha Rao)
"The youth isn't showing any interest in politics, a fact that is turning out to be an advantage for those filthy rich politicians who continue to contest and win unopposed. I wanted to give it an honest try," says Rao. And honestly, he did. Rao, who was born and brought up in Sultanpur, decided to contest from his hometown’s Peddapalli district. Being new to the field of politics, no party would give him a ticket to contest elections, so he decided to stand as an independent candidate, adopted the tractor as his election symbol and began his campaign with gusto.
Rao pursued IT from Chilkur Balaji Institute of Technology. Rao's father is a farmer
Peddapalli being a district where agriculture is the primary occupation, Rao identified lack of water for agricultural fields as the main problem. "I proposed that in case the Sriram Project fails and there is no proper rainfall either, we need to take matters in our own hands," explains Rao and adds that he wanted to make Peddapalli a water-sufficient district, following the same successful strategy that Paani Foundation adopted in the drought-affected areas of Maharashtra. He also assured a healthy doctor to patient ratio, steady filling of teaching positions in government schools and upgrading infrastructure. "I did not make any promise that is beyond my ability, I just promised to do my job with utmost diligence," says Rao, who toured his constituency three times in two months. He even opted for crowdfunding to fund his campaign, reiterating the fact that his approach and intentions were honest. He received `2,60,000 through crowdfunding which he used to reach out to people. And how did he reach out to them? There were no fancy rallies or gaudy processions, he simply went door to door and initiated conversations. He would drop by food joints, hostels, government offices and other places and start conversing in groups.
In talks: Rao interacting with students (Pic: Ravadi Kantha Rao)
But despite all his efforts, he couldn't attain the magic number. He bagged 1,600 votes and stood sixth among 17 contestants, losing to Manohar Reddy Dasari from Telangana Rashtra Samithi, who bagged 82,765 votes. But Rao doesn't sound like a man whose efforts have been thwarted. "I was disappointed yet prepared for this outcome," he says. And though he has to start looking for a job now and introspect, he is confident that for the next elections, he will be back. Stronger, sharper and much better.
All that he has done
As part of the ten years of social work and Planet 3 Protection Alliance, these are some of Rao's initiatives
- Haritha Vanam
Under this plantation drive, they planted 800 saplings with GHMC at Attapur and Upparapally, 1,500 creepers in Hyderabad Botanical Garden, gave away 3,500 fruit saplings to government school students and more
The green run which was conducted for five consecutive years until 2015
- Green Frames Photography Exhibition
He invited photographs on the themes of environment, greenery and history and exhibited them at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel
- Recharge Hyderabad
A movement to encourage rainwater harvesting
- Shubra Hyderabad Movement
24 weekly clean-up drives were conducted
For more on him, click on facebook.com/RavadiKanthaRao