Mumbai. 16 May 2022. Alluri Sitarama Raju is a household name today. Thanks to SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR, the heroics of the pre-independence revolutionary are now being recognized and have become a part of the national discourse. May 10th marks the death anniversary of the great freedom fighter, who sacrificed his life while fighting for the rights of the tribal people of present day – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Like Raju, with the passage of time and generations, unfortunately hundreds of freedom fighters faded into darkness while the sacrifices of some were never known. It makes one wonder how these heroes, who looked into the eyes of the tyrannical rulers and dared to raise slogans of an independent India, remain anonymous to the masses.
Taking pride in our nation’s legacy cannot follow suit if we know only the most famous freedom fighters. To expose our current and future generations to the valor of many forgotten revolutionaries and create awareness about the spark and fire that they held, Adani Airports Holding Ltd (AAHL) is remembering the fallen heroes of our freedom struggle who were not part of our popular discourse on independence.
The campaign is a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and its glorious history. It commenced on 15 August 2021, to be culminated at India’s 75th Independence Day this year. It was after 200-years of struggle that at the stroke of midnight in the middle of August in 1947, India woke up to life and freedom.
Yes, it isn’t Independence Day nor Republic Day neither any red-letter day. But it’s today and every day that we should remember the ones who laid down their lives for the free India we live in. As a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, it is a golden opportunity to make new and old generations aware of not only the freedom fighters but also the freedom struggle.
AAHL, which manages 7 airports across the country including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Guwahati & Thiruvananthapuram, is using the public announcement (PA) system and flight information display (FID) screens to create awareness among the passengers about these heroes, forgotten movements and incidents to remember them as a tribute.
Each month, as per the directive of the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, all the Indian airports use PA and FID systems to run pre-recorded audio and display messages on the unsung heroes based on either their birth/ death anniversary date or a historically significant date.
The month of May is also significant as it marks the 165 years of India’s first large scale freedom movement popularly known as the Revolt of 1857. This month, AAHL will create awareness about six revolutionaries, i.e., Pursottam Kakodkar, Pritilata Waddedar, Alluri Sitarama Raju, Durgabai Deshmukh, Kartar Singh Sarabha and Bishni Devi Shah.
The campaign has been successful in strengthening the feeling of patriotism with passengers appreciating the drive and soaking in the patriotism glory. In a recent survey at Lucknow Airport showed more than 80% of the respondents giving ‘excellent’ rating to the campaign. Respondents used expressions like, “…good initiative reminding about our freedom fighters to the younger generations…”, “…good step taken forward…”, “… enrich common men’s knowledge about our struggle for freedom.”
To widen the reach of the campaign, AAHL also ran the campaign online using popular social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and received overwhelming response with engagement rate as high as 9 percent on its posts, with the posts reaching thousands of people.