Srihari, who says his family supports him, has devoted his life to public service after struggling through his own difficulties.
ONGOLE: Gollapudi Srihari, a 41-year-old from Chimakurthy, Prakasam district, has been helping the poor, orphans and homeless through Sivam Foundation, a voluntary organisation he founded in 2018.
Besides, Srihari also helped establish three water plants to supply fluoride-free and clean drinking water to the poor living in SC/ST colonies and slums near Chimakurthy. Each unit required expenses worth Rs 4 lakh to be set up.
Srihari, who says his family supports him, has devoted his life to public service after struggling through his own difficulties. He is the eldest son of a lower-middle-class family of farmers from Angalakudur village near Tenali town in Guntur district. Srihari was brought up at Chimakurthy, where his maternal grandfather resided.
After completing his BSc, he did odd jobs at galaxy granite factories, which are popular in the region. After years of experience, he has become a senior employee at one such unit. At the start of his career in the quarry business, Srihari saw that the workers’ children falling sick due to groundwater contamination in the slums. Later, he found out that the groundwater had a high concentration of fluoride.
After doctors said that the children were suffering from fluorosis symptoms, and a change of water could solve the health issues, he decided to set up water purifying plants in the region. He also bought a vehicle to transport water tanks to areas dealing with water shortage. From just helping the poor and orphans, Sivam Foundation later expanded its vision to provide support to HIV-affected people, destitute women and students.
Since 2018, the foundation has helped more than 100 students to pursue their choice of education by paying their tuition fees, and buying them books and laptops.K Yaswanthini, a student of NRI College, who got financial support from the foundation, scored 949 out of 1000 in the recent Intermediate exams. At present, the foundation is supporting three more girls who are pursuing pharmacy course.
“The foundation has also provided free food and medicines to many Covid-19 patients. We performed the last rites of over 65 orphaned bodies, and provided 25 oxygen cylinders to the Ongole GGH for the emergency Covid treatment,” Srihari said. The foundation has also started a shelter for HIV patients, which is now home to 10 elderly people. The police had recognised the team for its services, and felicitated it when Siddhartha Koushal was at the helm of police affairs in the district.