Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy was not just the most popular leader of undivided Andhra Pradesh but he was also an able administrator. His more than five years in rule is a testimony to the all-encompassing welfare and development that he infused into the state’s governance. YSR’s name is synonymous with many things. One among them that rings the bell at the reference of the towering leader was his bouquet of welfare schemes. YSR always strongly believed in welfare-oriented ruling and worked hard to deliver them to every common man in need. As the most loved chief minister of the undivided state, he believed in welfare as the only vehicle to ensure peace and stability in the society which will in turn diminish the crime rate.
He had strategised plans to provide welfare schemes to the public to meet their basic requirements of food, shelter, health and emergency services.
YSR even had long term plans for the economic growth of the state by providing the best possible education to at least one person from every house through his 100 percent fees reimbursement scheme.
He believed that the state will progress towards growth only with improved literacy and by educating the youth even from economically backward classes with free education through the fees reimbursement scheme.
He was the only leader whose demise has left hundreds die of heartbreak, unable to reconcile to the harsh reality. Most of them were the common people who either died of shock or committed suicide on hearing that their most loved leader was no more.
‘Rajanna’ and ‘Jana Netha’ (People's Leader) were just some of the famous sobriquets that the people had given to the legendary leader who had transformed their lives with a human touch.
Here is a look at the Welfare Schemes of Dr YSR:
Two-Rupee Rice Scheme:
YSR has launched a Rs-2-a-kg rice scheme, through which rice was provided to families below-poverty-line (BPL) and disabled persons. At that time, rice used to be sold at Rs 18 per kg in the open market. YSR had taken up this scheme to ensure that no one is left starving due to poverty in the state. Around 1.82 crore poor families were benefited with this scheme.
108 And 104 Services:
YSR is the pioneer of starting this emergency ambulance scheme which were named 108 ambulances. Andhra Pradesh was the first state to implement it. YSR launched this scheme to help people reach hospitals during emergency situations besides shifting of pregnant women, all free of cost.
Emulating the great leader’s initiative, this scheme is now being implemented in 15 States and two Union Territories i.e Telangana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan besides two Union Territories, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
On the other hand, YSR also started 104 services, known as Mobile Medical Units. These were aimed at providing medical services to the people living in remote areas, rural and tribal areas which do not have quick access to hospitals and medical facilities.
Taking his father’s concept to an entirely new height, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on July 1, 2020, launched 1,088 (108 and 104) ambulances to help people during emergency situations. The scheme was completely revamped with many advanced features added to the emergency ambulance services.
Fees Reimbursement is an education sponsorship Programme initiated by YSR who was strongly committed for empowerment of people by educating them. He brought about a revolutionary change in the education sector and provided 100 per cent fees reimbursement to students belonging to Economically Backward Class communities, BC, SC, ST, minorities. Around 33 lakh people benefited from this scheme.
Drawing inspiration from this, the current AP CM YS Jagan also launched AP Jagananna Vidya Deevena Scheme 2020, under which the government will provide 100 per cent fee reimbursement to students from the poorer sections. As an additional incentive, YS Jagan has added Jagananna Vasati Deevena Scheme under which free meals are being provided to students in the state.
Pavala Vaddi Scheme:
In order to help the women from economically backward classes, YSR launched Pavala Vaddi scheme which aimed to provide a free credit loan to all of the self-help groups of the Andhra Pradesh state (DWCRA). With this scheme, around 1 crore DWCRA women got benefited during his regime.
Following in his father’s footsteps, present Chief Minister of AP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has also launched a zero-interest loan scheme, under which 8.78 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) women are getting benefited.
Rajiv Arogya Sri:
One of the flagship schemes of YSR that had earned him laurels from all quarters for his commitment to provide quality healthcare even for the poorest of the poor. YSR had come up with this novel scheme to help the poor and under-privileged people to get treated for all major health ailments. Rajiv Arogya Sri was a health insurance scheme which was designed to provide medical assistance to people below the poverty line.
The government took care of all the medical emergencies up to a cost of Rs 2 lakhs and health issues of white cardholders as per this scheme.
Free Electricity For Farmers:
YSR, who personally witnessed the travails of farmers during his historic padayatra, promised to provide free electricity. And proving that why he is regarded as a man who ‘walks the talk’ at any cost, he had accorded his first signature on the file regarding free electricity to farmers, right from the stage where he took oath of office after becoming the chief minister in 2004. As per this scheme, the government provided seven hours of free and uninterrupted power during day time to all the farming activities.
It is a mass housing scheme that was started in 2006 and implemented during the YSR regime, through this scheme houses were given to the houseless poor. Around 40 Lakh people benefited from this scheme between 2006-2009.
Jalayagnam or Jala Yagnam is the most ambitious water project taken up by YSR as the CM of the state. It was one of the poll promises made by YSR to the people during his padayatra. As per this scheme, the floodwaters from Krishna and Godavari were aimed to be lifted up to provide irrigation to lakhs of acres of dry land in the then united Andhra Pradesh.