For Amudala Rani, a non-resident Indian in New Jersey, buying a digital brick is a sure way of going down in history as one of those who helped build Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

“It is a nice feeling to preserve the donor certificate as a record of my participation. Construction of great cities in America has always been a respected part of history,” says Rani, who hails from Vijayawada.

She is not alone. In the past 10 days, since the launch of ‘My Brick, My Amaravati’, a crowd-funding initiative, over 34 lakh digital bricks have been sold online.

When one buys a digital brick for ₹10, one’s name is engraved on it and it is kept in a repository for ever.

And the donor gets a certificate of commendation from Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, which reads: “Every brick matters and every effort is valued. Your gesture will go a long way in realising Amaravati as a true people’s capital.”

The idea appeals to many as it is innovative and ensures the involvement of people. “The participatory model is good. In history, many capitals have been built, but people are not connected to them. Digital bricks ensure participation of commoners,” feels N Siva Krishna, of Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.

Quantum of funds

The idea of the government, as explained in the portal , is not only to ensure people’s participation but also get donations. A special window for international donations will also be opened shortly. The total number of donors who bought the 34.40 lakh bricks as of Monday evening stood at 52,764, raising ₹3.40 crore so far. The state government estimates that it will need at least ₹1 lakh crore to construct the new capital.

According to a senior official in Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), the government expects to generate significant funds from this programme.

Efforts are also on to approach The Guinness Books of World Records to enter this initiative as the first crowd-funding programme using the concept of digital bricks.

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