He is young and the only heir to businesses worth billions of dollars. Instead of enjoying the luxury, he finds joy in adopting his ancestral village. His passion is to make it the best in infrastructure and technology.

This simple plot, narrated in a recent Telugu blockbuster flick Srimanthudu , has not only set the box office ringing but inspired many to give back to society — an individual social responsibility, as it were. Village adoption is the way to go.

The hero of Srimanthudu , superstar Mahesh Babu, is leading by example, and adopted Siddhapuram village in Mahbugnagar district. This has set off a chain reaction. Popular Telugu/Tamil actor Prakash Raj has adopted Kondareddypalle another village in the same district. He is already initiated dialogues with the villagers to understand their immediate needs and requirements.

Not just celebrities and actors, even IAS/IPS officers and politicians have followed suit.

The pattern of village development envisaged and modalities are varied. For instance, Kurnool Superintendent of Police Ravi Krishna, who adopted Kappatralla village in his district in AP, wants to end the festering factionalism, which has snatched away the breadwinner of many a poor family.

Ramping up education infrastructure is another dimension.

T Krishna Prasad, an Additional DG rank officer, says: “I have no philanthropic or lofty ideals, but want to do small, modest efforts that bring change in people’s life through an economical model of development”.

He wants to use the Human Development Index (HDI), instead of GDP, to assess real changes in his three-year experiment in Erravalli village in Vikarabad, about 80 km from Hyderabad. Health, education, sanitation, access to fuel and electricity, poverty level indicators will be monitored after necessary interventions.

Governments measure development by expenditure, which leads to creation of infrastructure like roads, structures and schemes but these do not necessarily improve the real quality of the life of the poor, he argues.

Though film personalities are ready to spend their funds for creation of rural infrastructure in the adopted villages, for officials and politicians it also involves giving right focus to the needs of people, elimination of corruption and proper deployment of existing schemes.

Telangana’s Minister for Irrigation Harish Rao, who has adopted Neerukonda village in Warangal district, has vowed its speedy development under the Gram Jyothi Rural Development scheme. He has been visiting the village regularly to monitor implementation of various programmes.

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