It won’t be an exaggeration if we call Union Minister Anant Kumar, who died of on 12th November, as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee of South India. People in Bangalore say Kempegowda is the maker of the Bangalore and if someone is to be credited for taking Bangalore to further heights, then it must go to late Anant Kumar.
There are two reasons why I am comparing Anant Kumar with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Firstly in politics, very few leaders have are appreciated and loved by leaders from across the political parties. No doubt Mr Vajpayee was one such individual and Anant Kumar also was in the same path. Soft spoken yet never shunned away from Hindutva.
Secondly, both had not just introduced historic schemes but made sure that all these schemes were executed in record time. Today if Bangalore is enjoying its metro services then the credit goes to Anant Kumar. Today if the Bangalore is boasting of world class international airport then the credit goes to Anant Kumar. But he never ever marketed the works he did.
But can we believe that even on the day of his death (12th November) and funeral (the next day), 50,000 children were fed? Yes. Late Anant Kumar had set up his own NGO named Adamya Chetana which was registered in the year 1998. This voluntary organisation which is working in the field of social development had set up a mid-day meal scheme in the name “Annapoorna”.
In this program, around 2 lakh school children are served with mid day meal across 1000 schools in the regions of Bangalore, Hubli, Kalburgi and Jodhpur. And even on the day when the union minister left the world, the mid day meal was prepared as usual. But as the schools were on leave due to his death, the food were distributed to the kids of orphanage.
So even though Anant Kumar was on ventilator in his last few days of life, the organisation founded by him ensured that there won’t be any hungry stomachs in the schools. Presently, Adamya Chethana is looked after his wife Dr Tejaswini.
Adamya Chethana was set up by Anant Kumar in the memory of Smt. Girija Shastry in 1998. ‘Tailoring classes’ for poor girls (1998), computer training for girls (1999), innovative web portal for blood donation (www.raktadan.org) and Aata-Paatha (2001), Mid day meal and many more tasks were innovative and successfully implemented schemes under the leadership of Anant Kumar.
When he was the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, he implemented several historic schemes like neem coating of Urea that proved to be a hammer blow to the fertilizer mafia. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Aushadhi Yojana which was an instant hit provided medicines to poor at very low cost and it was due to Anant Kumar that the prices of stents used in heart operation was reduced by 85 percent.
Not just the present generation, but the generations to come will utilize the benefits of the schemes that were implemented by late Anant Kumar. Now its our duty to keep him ever green in our heart and minds.