It is almost one year since Cyclone Hudhud struck our state, tore the Jewel of the East Coast (Vizag) into pieces and took away livelihoods of lakhs of people of coastal districts.
We have seen how Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu (NCBN) worked from Vizag and stood by the people of the coastal districts when the Cyclone struck. We saw visuals of him operating from a bus and also sleeping in a bus for a mere 2-3 hours.
Mr. Naidu has a reputation of being the best crisis manager. From giving out alerts before Hudhud struck us to getting ISRO, National Remote Sensing Agency, government administration and citizens on board, he handled everything with passion and optimism.
During Hudhud, when shopkeepers were fleecing customers, he gave a warning and brought down the prices of essential commodities. His administration’s use of social media and constant follow-up with people from across the world earned his government a name in Facebook Inc’s “Disaster Response Report” as one of the best governments in the world for effective Disaster Response through Facebook.
The government’s crowdsourcing efforts succeeded after it used Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp effectively and also immediately created a portal.
While all this was happening on one side, Mr. Naidu, on the other, was visiting areas that faced destruction, talking to people, understanding their concerns, getting electric poles fixed, etc. Everyone watched him work like a machine, compelling even his administration to walk and work with him.
While this is one example that made Andhra Pradesh’s citizens realize that they elected the right leader, another came in the form of the unfortunate Pushkaralu stampede. Taking responsibility of the entire administration, within 24 hours after the incident, he turned things around and worked from Rajahmundry for the next 11 days.
From visiting ghats to bus-stations at midnight and staying there till early morning, he did all that he could to make people reach their destinations safely.
Since his curiosity knows no bounds, he also stopped by and asked people on the roads about the arrangements and sanitation. During this time, the Singapore government delegation also visited Rajahmundry and submitted the Seed Capital Masterplan, the final of the three Masterplans submitted.
Then, came Mr. Naidu’s firm decision of shifting to Vijayawada. Before any government employees even made up their minds about shifting to the Capital Region, Mr. Naidu showed what ‘lead by example’ meant. He has been running the government from Vijayawada ever since and has also been holding reviews and meeting delegates from the city.
After creating history by inter-linking Godavari and Krishna rivers, he is now set on a journey to make Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, the best city in the world. With planning for Foundation-laying ceremony underway on a massive scale, there is no doubt it will be a City that India will be proud of.
And, this is exactly why Andhra Pradesh is lucky to have Mr. Naidu as the Chief Minister. He gives everyone the confidence that we can turn adversities into opportunities.
The people of Andhra Pradesh have risen against the odds and have proved that they can come out stronger even during crisis. Now that the ground has been laid and the journey for Sunrise State has begun, even the citizens of the state should rise up to the occasion and participate in capital building.
Let us realize, as Mr. Naidu always says, he is the best “Brand Ambassador” Andhra Pradesh can ever have. And, we believe so too.