In conversation, Prashant reddy (Bunty) discussed his understanding of the development and social responsibility at length
Here are some excerpts
What has been your father’s role in your life and your career? What made you want to follow in his footsteps?
My father has been an active member of the political process since before I was even born. In 1981, he was elected Sarpanch of his village. After this, he took up the director’s role in the district cooperative bank. Going on to become the district president of the Rangareddy district for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). And since 2009, he has been consecutively elected for three terms as the MLA from the Ibrahimpatnam constituency.
Growing up, seeing my father and grandfather’s efforts towards improving the well-being of people and society, I always had a deep sense of duty towards the country. While I had an interest in the political process, I had planned to focus on my professional career and my businesses until, at least, the age of 35, before becoming actively involved. In line with this, when I finished my engineering, I entered the advertising field and was working in it.
However, in 2006, when my father was a part of TDP, Chandrababu Naidu embarked on “Mee Kosam”, which was an 11,000 km statewide bus yatra. Being in the field I put my efforts towards its success, handling the logistics and the advertising for the project. Seeing my work, in 2009, Mr Chandrababu Naidu nominated me in the GHMC Hyderabad Corporator Elections. This, despite both me and my father requesting him not to. All to no avail, as he remained adamant, believing that I had a lot to offer to the people of the city, and would work hard for their upliftment.
This marked my entry into politics, with me becoming the youngest corporator in Hyderabad at the age of 24. Upon completing my term in 2014, I began focusing on Ibrahimpatnam, visiting regularly and interacting with its people to understand their needs better. Around the same time, I also made the switch from TDP to Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
How would you describe your role and responsibility towards society?
My primary focus and responsibility are to improve the lives of the people of Ibrahimpatnam. As despite being so close to Hyderabad, we are still behind in some ways. To combat this, my work is based on changing the mindset of the constituents and increasing their participation in the political process. For me, this is very important, considering the earlier history of extremist activities that the region has. To do this, the agenda is to invest in education and public welfare programs to uplift the people of Ibrahimpatnam. Especially targeting the youth, as almost 65% of the constituents of Ibrahipatnam are under the age of 40.
What have been some of the major projects that you have undertaken in Ibrahimpatnam? And could you tell us about some of your future development plans for your constituency over the next six years?
Since the past six years, the MCare Foundation, founded by my father, has been providing coaching, food and clothes free of cost for those in Ibrahimpatnam that are aspiring to join government jobs under the latest job initiative by K.C.R. I am proud to share that over 350 people from the constituency have now been selected for government jobs with coaching provided by the MCare Foundation. They are now serving in various government jobs as constables, home guards, S.Is, etc.
When it comes to the future, my overarching vision for the constituency is to have our constituents participate in future development activities and to improve their lives. Recently, K.T.R has visited the constituency and we have represented our issues to him. With a large number of industries coming up in the Rangareddy district, my focus is on local representation. This involves jobs and adequate monetary compensation for the farmers and those displaced by these industries. Across the various projects that have been approved by the government and the innovation that is being encouraged, the focus is on the youth securing employment. Additionally, in the recent state cabinet meeting, a resolution was passed for 50% of the jobs being mandated for the local people.
Another area of focus in Ibrahimpatnam for me is healthcare. Currently, we have 9 primary health care centres. The plan is to improve and expand them, adding 5 more that have been approved in the coming six to twelve months, and expanding the Ibrahimpet primary health care centre to a 100-bed facility.
What do you believe is the role of the political discourse between members of opposing parties and ideologies?
Opposition is an integral part of the political process. Irrespective of who is in power, a political rivalry is inevitable. However, dialogue and discourse must be left to politics and should not extend to personal matters. This is something which has been happening of late and is done without much thought. If the opposition is genuine and reasonable, I welcome it and will respond in the same vein. This kind of constructive criticism is very important, and I am always open to it when it comes from a place of wanting to improve the well being of the people.
How has Covid-19 affected Ibrahimpatnam? What do you believe should be done to tackle it?
During the initial phases of the lockdown, the primary focus in tackling the pandemic revolved around educating the public. To this effect, electronic media, print media, and social media, all played an important role. In addition to this, the MCare Foundation, for 45 days, offered free lunch, daily to over 400 people in need, such as the poor, the daily wage earners and migrants.
This was done at the Ibrahimpatnam bus depot and strict safety protocols were ensured.
As we speak, currently there are a few cases that are now spreading to the villages in the region. However, the public is following social distancing and safety protocols that have been put in place to restrict the spread of the disease. Till there is a viable vaccine, treatment, or cure, people must continue to strictly adhere to these protocols. This means, maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask whenever outdoors, and going out only if necessary.
What are some of the economic policies that you believe in?
Despite Telangana state being one of the youngest states, it has grown tremendously under the leadership of. K.C.R. Several steps have been taken to this effect by the leadership, resulting in increased investment in the state and expanding its economy.
Additionally, K.T.R’s dynamic leadership at the municipal level has led to the tremendous development of Hyderabad city. At the same time ensuring equal development of all municipalities.
Across the city and the state, there has been a massive improvement in common amenities, education projects, farmers welfare initiative, and industrial development. Under K.C.R’s leadership, I have great confidence in the future of the state. That through the right balance and growth of the agricultural and industrial sector, the state will grow leaps and bounds in the coming years. Becoming the number 1 state in India in the next 10 years.
Being a young politician, what do you believe is the role of youth leaders and the youth in the country and its political processes?
The youth of the country must look at the political process as their responsibility and duty to their country. They must develop pride in their country and its political process. This means coming forward and participating at all levels, be it voting, working at the grassroots level, or working towards positions where they can effect change. By doing this, they can articulate and work towards what they want. With such a young population and being a developing nation, the contributions that the youth can make to the national dialogue and ideology are immense.
What do you believe is the role of industry, non-profits, NGOs, and charities in the development of the country?
Each of these plays its own essential role in the development of the country. For example, in a crisis such as the pandemic we are facing now, we can see the tremendous efforts that pharmaceutical companies are making, working day and night towards developing a vaccine. Other industries are working towards expanding the economy and generating employment. NGOs’ and charities are taking up their social responsibilities, in the form of social welfare projects. Seeing the issues that the country and its people are facing during this crisis and helping them overcome them. In addition to these, every citizen plays a crucial role in the development of the country and must realize this and act towards a better tomorrow for all.
What do you believe to be the role of the media?
Today, journalists and media personnel are active participants and disseminators of the national consciousness. This puts them in an important position where they can explore day to day issues at the social and individual levels and provoke thought and dialogue around them. This includes the good and the bad. Today, with the advent of the internet, there are innumerable sources of information available to the public. Having this kind of outreach, the media plays an important role and must continue their work while having the aim to propel the country forward.
To know more, please visit http://www.buntyyouthforce.com/