Hyderabad: The two Telugu men still under the captivity of alleged terrorists in Libya are safe, the Andhra Pradesh government said on Monday.
The information was received by the state government’s representative in New Delhi, K. Rammohan Rao, who spoke to Indian diplomat in Tripoli, Mohammad Rashid Khan over phone, and was told that the dean at the University of Sirte is in regular touch with the abductees.
Rao said all efforts were being to secure the release of the two teachers – T. Gopikrishna and Balram Kishan.
Rao also spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj regarding the steps being taken to secure safe and early release of the two Telugu men.
The families of Gopikrishna and Kishan here remained a worried lot as they have not heard anything directly from them since they were kidnapped on July 29.
Four Indians, all teachers at University of Sirte, were kidnapped allegedly by Islamic State militants when they returning to India via Tripoli and Tunis. A spokesman of ministry of external affairs had said they were detained at a check point, 50 km from Sirte.
Though two others hailing from Karnataka were released on Friday, there was no word about the two Telugu men.
Kishan hails from Hyderabad while the family of Gopikrishna, who is from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, also lives in Hyderabad.
Gopikrishna has been teaching computer science at Jufra branch of the university since 2007 whereas Balram has been teaching English at the same university since 2011.
On the occasion of Independence Day, the Andhra Pradesh government launched a village volunteers initiative for taking governance to the doorsteps of people by involving over 2.8 lakh village volunteers.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday announced the launch of the flagship programme at the main official function here to mark Independence Day.
Reddy, who later addressed the village volunteers at another event, said the programme was launched as the villages are backward even after 73 years of achieving independence.
Addressing the gathering after unfurling the national flag, he said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that the fruits of development reach those living in villages.
Under the initiative, the volunteers will act as a bridge between the government and the people. Another 2.66 lakh jobs will be provided by appointing permanent employees in village secretariats to be launched from October 2.
Village secretariats would be set up in each village to deliver governance to people in 72 hours. The scheme involves provision of one volunteer to cover 50 families in each village. Identity cards would be given to the volunteers and they would be paid an honorarium of Rs 5,000 per month.
The volunteers would first identify the beneficiaries, get to know their problems and, thereafter, delineate the appropriate schemes being provided for them by the government.
The Chief Minister said that the schemes would be able to reach the poorest of the poor and make all the villages self-sufficient.
Reddy also said the volunteers would turn out to be leaders once they complete their term. A toll-free telephone number 1902 would be set up at a call centre in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) to receive the grievances of the people.
He said that his government has taken many path-breaking decisions and will resolutely stick to its stand, brushing aside the insipid criticism of detractors.
He defended the legislations that were recently enacted to provide reservation for jobs to locals and reverse tendering.
In his hour-long address, he listed out the path-breaking welfare schemes and legislations that his government has undertaken during last two-and-a-half months.
The Chief Minister said the ‘Navaratnas’ delineated by him in the party manifesto were prepared after he understood the problems of the people during his 3,648 km ‘padayatra’ (march) throughout the state.
Besides, the YSR Rythu Bharosa scheme would be started from October 15 under which electricity would be provided to farmers free of cost and each farmer would get Rs 12,500 per year for the next four years, he added.
Speaking about the Amma Vodi scheme, which would be launched on January 26 next year, the Chief Minister said all mothers would be given Rs 15,000 per year so that they can educate their children without any hassles. (IANS)