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Driving FORCE

Though extending his wholehearted support to Nilambari's strengths in various art forms, Sudhakara Rao is not a back-seat driver, says MUBIN SULTAN


A MAN of vision that he is, U.Sudhakar Rao, Regional Manager of APSRTC, realized the merit of MBA years before many could even think about it. Today, he can be relied upon for passenger safety and comfort of a large number of commuters.

In the service of RTC for more than two decades now, he has carved a niche for himself in the sector, winning the hearts of his co-workers and satisfaction of passengers. Sudhakar Rao hails from Srikakulam and his wife, Nilambari, spent her pre-marital days in the art-loving city of Jamshedpur. Daughter of a maestro in Hindustani vocal music, Pt. Anand Chaudhari, Nila is thoroughly trained in Hindustani music, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and also plays Sitar.

Thrust on rural transport

With people waiting upon in red sherwanis suiting the `biryani mood,' Sudhakar has unwinded himself for a smooth rendezvous at Hotel D.V.Manor, after another busy day.

Taking bites of Shanghai chicken rolls between sips of tepid sweet corn soup, he recalls his recent workshop in Shanghai. "China has a very impressive public transport system due to wise policies and cooperative people," he says. Working on his mission to popularize public transport, Sudhakar Rao explains its advantages. The main concern of his team is development of transport in rural areas.

"There have been many developments for the convenience of urban masses. But, a majority of our gains are from rural areas. It is hightime that their needs are catered to," he says. Observing from his experience, Sudhakar Rao feels that it is dedication and sincerity of drivers and conductors that has made roadways a comfortable mode of transport for many.

Loves to travel

Nila prefers spending time with her daughters, who are also pursuing engineering courses drawing inspiration from their father. Proud of her husband's responsibility and ardour for work, she says: "I was never disappointed with his busy schedule." As a student, she remembers being an active participant at cultural fests. Though she often gets nostalgic about Jamshedpur, she loves Vijayawada for its serenity. The couple enjoys travelling and Nila is all praises for the undiscovered beauty of East Godavari. Going by their habit of having light dinners, the couple shared phulkas with Handi Lababdar curry.

Finally deciding to try one of the 49 biryanis, upon the suggestion of the hospitable staff, they found Zebunnisa dum biryani relishable for the cool evening.

Sudhakar has visited most of the Indian cities as a part of his job, and Cochin stands out to be his favourite. "Regular meetings and workshops are important for any field of work as they contribute a great deal to improvement of perception and management," he says. With plans for the future to improve public transport system, Sudhakar Rao is confident as Nila's enthusiasm adds to his.

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