“My mom needs to undergo bypass surgery. Pls, help us to get NOC for her travel to Hyd Star hospitals from Vijayawada due to COVID-19 lockdown. Thank You,”A someone tweeted from New Zealand. “We will take care brother @KTRoffice please contact and assist, came the reassurance.
“Hello sir, I am 9-month pregnant with twins. There is no possible commuting way for my checkups due to lockdown. Now I am having contracts n wanted to check with doctor,” tweets a woman from somewhere in Telangana. She was assured help is on the way.
Ever since the lockdown began last month, Telangana’s senior cabinet minister K.T. Rama Rao aka KTR has emerged as the key point of contact for people in distress.
From someone in a remote part of Telangana with emergency healthcare need to people stuck in Hyderabad and wanting to rush to their native places in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for attending funerals of their near and dear ones to those living abroad and concerned about the wellbeing of families backhome, all tweet him.
Every day, KTR receives dozens of requests on various social media platforms, primarily on Twitter. Many people tweet him on behalf of the poor and the needy.
“We will take care @KTRoffice please assist,” comes the assurance in response to someone’s tweet about treatment of a seven-year-old daughter of daily wage workers.
“My grandmother passed away this morning. I am struck in Hyderabad. My mother is alone in my native. Could you please help me reach my native Kakinada,” tweets Sandeep Yendamuri.
“Sorry for your loss Sandeep. @KTRoffice please assist immediately,” comes the reply.
The young and dynamic minister, son of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, on Thursday requested the state police chief to explore the possibility of bringing back a group of people from the state stuck in Varanasi.
He promised help for treatment of a poor woman in Nizamabad, who fell down after giving birth to twins, suffered blood clot in the brain and required Rs 5 lakh for urgent surgery.
He also takes suo moto note of newspaper reports and give necessary instruction. After reading a report in a vernacular daily about two girls losing their parents, he immediately requested Siddipet collector on Twitter to take care of them by getting them into a residential school
KTR also reacts to some ugly incident like two persons from northeast being denied entry into supermarket for they looked like foreigners. “This is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable. Racism in any form should be dealt with sternly,” he tweets and asks police to send out a clear message.
KTR has always been just a tweet away for citizens seeking help but in the lockdown period his office is busy attending to numerous calls from people in distress.
“After the lockdown came into effect, lot of citizens stranded in various places had emergency needs to either go out or get to something at the doorstep. The minister is responding to all SOS calls because people don’t know where to approach. They tweet on the minister’s personal handle and he tags his office,” Konatham Dileep, Director, Digital Media, Government of Telangana told IANS.
The ministera¿s office which has one personal secretary and two officers on special duty divide work among themselves and coordinate with concerned government agency or private person to resolve the issue
“Lot of requests relate to healthcare emergencies or untoward incidents like death in the family. What the minister feels is that in this hour of crisis all support mechanisms currently available will be overburdened. We have services like 100, 104, 108 and different helplines but because lakhs of people will be in need of those services they are overwhelmed. He feels there is need for another channel to extend help to those in need. That is reason he is responding,” said Dileep, a key member of KTR team.
Though holding several key portfolios like industry and commerce, information technology, municipal administration and urban development and shouldering key responsibility in the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) as its acting president, he is quite active over the social media.
The suave and affable leader has 2.1 million followers over Twitter handle KTRTRS.
Popular among techies and students alike, he always tweets to encourage youngsters for their achievements and innovations.
He takes time out to reply to tweets by youngsters about their innovative ideas or designs to combat COVID-19 situation and asks his office or a senior bureaucrat to look into the same.