The enervating COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in some people; Ramu Dosapati’s effort to be the ‘anna data’ for the needy is a one-of its kind story.
“My journalist friend called me at 11:30 p.m. in April to inform me about the situation. My wife would prepare meals, which I promptly used to deliver to the migrant workers near the railway station. That’s when it dawned on me that a lot of people don’t have anything to eat since they have no means of livelihood because of the pandemic,” Ramu said.
The other inspiration to Dosapati’s motivation was his watchman, who bought 20 kgs of chicken to feed migrant laborers, while his own meager salary was Rs 6,000 monthly. Ramu thought if he could do this praiseworthy task, then why not an HR manager with Rs 1.5 lakh salary do something similar?
Ramu realized that dry rations are a much better option than preparing meals which is quite a strenuous task altogether. As a result, he began distributing kits that contained rice and other necessities like edible oil, pulses, chili powder, turmeric, sugar, and tea, enough to sustain a family of four for four to five days. He initially fed 150 migrant laborers with the help of his associates. No sooner his Rice ATM became a blessing for the poor. After the lockdown restriction was lifted, Dosapati began distributing groceries to those in need; on some days, only 20 to 30 people show up, while on other days, the number would approach 150 to 200 individuals. Starting in 2020, Ramu anna is unfailingly serving the penurious to date. Ramu Garu has earned the honor of ‘anna data’ of Hyderabad. In and near LB Nagar, if you come across someone walking with a bag of rice and a big smile on his or her face, there’s a good chance that person is returning from Ramu’s rice ATM much after Ramu’s rice ATM, Karnataka, and Haryana state government came up with a similar idea to build an ATM for distributing grains to the poverty-stricken class of society.
Along with migrant workers, Ramu and his companion have also assisted teachers who lost their job during the pandemic, expectant mothers, and elderly individuals in setting up their own small-scale businesses and distributing enough groceries to them.
Where do his monetary resources come from?
Dosapati started this noble venture with 1 lakh from his savings and 3 lakhs from his provident fund; later on, his expenditure amounted to 50 lakhs. The net amount Ramu saved to get a 3 BHK flat in Hyderabad, he exhausted all his savings amount for the notable cause of the Rice ATM. Over time many joined hands with Ramu; every alternate week, he receives a good amount of donations which is currently a good aid for his Rice ATM. He received several prestigious awards, like Ugadi Nandi Puraskaram, in January 2023. He, along with his friend Yasaswini Jonnalagadda Garu received the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) Pride of Hyderabad Award in September 2022.
Dosapati’s desire to make a social contribution can be traced back to the year 2006 when he met with a severe accident. At that time, he promised god that if he recovered from the injury, he would dedicate his life to the underprivileged. On his successful recovery, Dosapati previously restricted himself to work during the weekends, but COVID was a form of transformer in his life when he could fully associate himself with social work.
The benediction of the underprivileged ensures a sense of ultimate satisfaction which is priceless.