HYDERABAD: Anti-caste activist and rationalist U Sambasiva Rao (70), popularly known as Usaa, succumbed to COVID-19 on Saturday, July 25. He fought for the rights of the suppressed sections of the people. Rao stayed in Malakpet. He is survived by his only daughter, Hima Bindu.
He was admitted to a private hospital in Barkatpura in Hyderabad after he began to suffer from diarrhea, earlier this week. Later, he tested positive for COVID-19, following which he was rushed to a hospital in Barkatpur on Friday night. Rao died on Saturday morning while undergoing treatment for the novel coronavirus in the hospital.
His funeral was held at the Amberpet Cemetery on the same day. His wife Padmavati Prasunamba had died earlier.
His daughter Daughter Hima Bindu is working as a professor in Delhi, and she had devoted her entire life for the empowerment and upliftment of Dalit Bahujans.
Rao was born in Brahmin Kodur, Bapatla district of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh.
He extended his services in Prajatantra Vidyarthi Sangh (DSVO), and worked for the UCCRI (ML) party, in close association with the party leaders
Devulapalli and Tarimela Nagireddy. He fought for the tribal rights in the Devipatnam area of East Godavari district in AP.
Rao supported inter-caste marriages and he had married Padmavati who belonged to different caste.
Rao fought for bringing Godavari waters to Nalgonda district and took part in the struggle over agricultural issues in Ponnekallu in Amaravati region. He played an active role in Karamchendu, Chunduru Dalit movements, and was imprisoned during the Emergency of 1975. He organised dining centres in four villages of Mahabubnagar for four years.
He wrote a song called Jolali Padali, many songs on drought, he even wrote a few books like Burrakatha, Pochampadu Scandal and Nallagonda Varadakaaluva.
After leaving the party, he worked with Ambedkar and Phule ideologies for the upliftment of suppressed sections of people.
He ran a newspaper "Nalupu" along with Kancha Ilaiah. He also ran another newspaper called "Edureeta".