In wake of the Centre’s decision to privatise Vizag Steel Plant (VSP), employees, trade unions, and many others have been relentlessly agitating against the decision. Joining the agitation and taking the cause across the state is Gaddam Ramu, a YouTuber from Vijayawada. Ramu started cycling for the said cause on 14 March 2021 from Hindupur, a city located in the Anantapur district.
Ramu, an avid traveller, had been documenting his travel journeys across the country and abroad for his YouTube channel named Telugu Traveller Ramu. His channel now has over 35,000 subscribers. Utilising the platform in his hands, he decided to take up the ongoing issue of the decision of privatising VSP through the nooks and corners of the state. “The last time I rode a cycle would have been during my school days. The initial stretch of 7 days was excruciating, especially going through the ghat roads of Rayalaseema and Nallamala Forest. The only thing that kept me motivated was my subscribers, who were waiting at various places to meet me. The affection I received along the journey is overwhelming,” said Ramu.
As Ramu recently entered Vizag, his contribution to the fight against the privatisation of Vizag Steel Plant was well received by those already in the agitations. “I was fortunate enough to be a part of the beach walk that was conducted to oppose privatising VSP,” informed the cyclist.
Admiring the city, Ramu says, “Vizag is rightfully named as the city of destiny. With beautiful beaches and lush green foliage, Vizag’s beauty is beyond words. Adding to that, the people of Vizag are extremely calm and composed.” He went on to add, “Vizag steel plant is not just an industry, but an asset for the state, if not the nation. Though it is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, owing to its vast green cover, the temperatures remain bearable during the harsh summer months. One can only assume that with the privatisation of the Vizag Steel Plant, these open green spaces will be put to commercial use, disturbing the ecosystem of the city. We must keep fighting against this decision.”
Another issue that the YouTuber wishes to create awareness upon, through his journey, is on the exponentially increasing rates of petrol and diesel in the country. Ramu intends to end his expedition at the Andhra-Odisha state border in a couple of days.