Express news service
NELLORE: Meet Vemulapati Madhava Rao! 72-year-old magician and humanitarian from the town of Kavali in the district of Nellore. He graduated in civil engineering and worked in the PWD department for a brief period, after which he pursued his passion for magic. What sets him apart from other magicians is that Madhava uses his skills to educate people about different social ills and how to eradicate them.
He has worked with several banks such as Andhra Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, NABARD to disseminate information about their initiatives to people living in rural areas of the state. The 72-year-old has performed in Andhra Pradesh as well as parts of Karnataka. Through his magic shows, he collected a sum of 2.40 lakh which he donated to various causes, including the rehabilitation of leprosy and the well-being of people with disabilities.
Recognizing Madhava Rao’s efforts, Rotary Club member Dr Lakshmi Narasa Reddy invited Rao to join the Kavali Rotary Club. Rao was then elected secretary in 1990. During this term, he focused on the issues facing the elderly population in rural areas. He soon realized that most of them had poor eyesight. So he took the initiative to organize cataract surgeries for them. “In the 1990s, we organized a five-day cataract surgery camp in rural areas. We gave people free food, a bed, medicine and glasses. I was able to help 600 people to have cataract surgery, ”recalls Madhava Rao.
The magician also worked to publicize the drops of polio in the villages of the districts of Prakasam and Nellore. He held public meetings to raise awareness about polio and the drops that could protect people from the crippling and deadly disease caused by poliovirus. The magician also motivated people in rural areas to donate blood. During the lockdown, Madhava Rao and the Indian Red Cross distributed food to migrant workers.
At 72, Madhava Rao continued to serve the needy in society. Madhava Rao has so far received 12 national awards, 2 international awards and 20 state-level awards for his magic shows across the country.
“I cannot express in words the joy I feel in serving the needy. I am glad that my efforts to reach out to the needy in rural parts of the state have been recognized by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former President Pranab Mukherjee. I will continue to serve the needy until my last breath, ” Madhava Rao said.