Ponnala Lakshmaiah – Profile
Lakshmaiah was born in a village Quilashapur, Warangal, Hyderabad State into a family with little education in Telangana region. He earned a M.S Mechanical Engineering degree from the United States in late sixties, to gain experience and to absorb the latest U.S technology, particularly in agricultural industries.
Having come in contact with the World Bank and its programs for developing countries, he was attracted by rural development projects in India. He returned to India and worked to generate rural employment in the region of his birthplace. The first project was improvements in areas such as poultry breeding, helping employ thousands of uneducated people. He also promoted development of the dairy industry.
Lakshmaiah began working with the Congress Party in 1980. In 1985, as a mark of protest against the atrocities perpetrated by T.D.P workers on Harijans of Karamchedu (Guntur Dist) and the indifferent attitude of the state government, he organised a public protest. In the 1992 Congress Plenary session at Tirupati, he successfully handled the foreign delegates, including prime ministers of neighboring countries.
In 1986, he launched a protest under the aegis “Samagra Pochampad Karyacharana Samithi” and worked with District Leaders to modify the irrigation scheme to benefit the chronically drought-prone area. Prime Minister Sri P. V. Narasimha Rao laid the foundation on June 30, 1993. The project was under execution in “Jalayagnam” at a cost of Rs. 3000 crores.
As of 2007 he was focused on Major and Medium Irrigation Projects, believing that these projects, once completed, would bring lakhs of acres under cultivation.