Rajendra Kaparapu

Rajendra grew up in a family where going to school was a luxury. His mother was illiterate but always wanted her children to get educated since she believed that education is the only way to get out of poverty. Realising this Rajendra entered school defying not just the economic factors but also the social monsters. It was during 1983-84 that he was witness to the atrocities on dalits in the Karamchedu area of Prakasam district Andhra Pradesh. The inhuman incidents at Karmachedu deeply impacted Rajendra who then started thinking about oppression, apathy, discrimination that the lower caste faces. It was then that he decided to become a social activist and fight these social and political oppressions. After college he began his work in the NGO sector. In 1994 he established 'Sujana' a community organisation. Sujana has been involved in issues of illegal mining, environment degradation, food security, land grabbing, corporate crimes, school dropouts, SHG's and government welfare programs in the East Godavari district. Sujana has played an important role in better rehabilitation and compensation for the 20,000 people displaced due to the construction of Yeleru Reservoir. Since 2005 he has been working with the Kadali network for ensuring rights of the farmers on the seabed in eighty villages of East Godavari district. Sujana has also successfully conducted 'Sustainable Tribal Empowerment' for a period of five years from 2003-2008 in 150 villages. Sujana has also been vehemently opposing mining which is causing destruction to the environment. Vanthada in the Pratipada Mandal of East Godavari district has been badly affected by laterite mining. Sujana with support from Samata has been successful in stopping the mining in the initial years in early 2000. Again some companies started illegal mining, this was tapped by Sujana and took necessary actions by writing to the district collector (DC), filing case in the high court and organising people in a protest. In 2012 the district collector ordered suspension of the mining activity. Despite actions from the state as well as people there still continues to be mining threat from the private companies. Presently Sujana is focussed on forming reports on degradation of water levels, impacts on livelihood, agriculture, the status of schools and hospitals etc in order to file a case in court with entire set of proofs.