I was working as Assistant Manager of Syndicate Bank at Buchireddipalem and I was asked to manage the new branch at Seetharampuram for awhile. I visited the place and understood the difficulties if preferred to stay in the village. By that time one house was fixed as Managers residential quarters, perhaps the only one building in and around all the 40 plus villages, with a upstair room.
I was born and brought up in a City - Vijayawada and I never knew that there were places without electricity in our country. I was just entering into my 30th year of life and I had all ambitions to complete the professional courses in Banking to brighten the career.
I was also offered a house in Udayagiri to make up and down journey to the village everyday. Udayagiri was the Block Head Quarters and it had electricity supply, a few cinema halls and schools and colleges too.
My daughter was aged five years and my wife was pregnant at that time. Initially I desired to express my unwillingness to join the new post, but then --------------I can not describe what it was, some unusual force driven me to the village and I preferred my life with the villagers than looking for my comforts in a town. People did not believe a bank and it was a tough time for me to convince them for their banking needs. Please do not laugh - people desired to see their money deposited on regular intervals and there were instances when I was asked to show the same note deposited, the next day and later too. As a result I preferred to put up a board in front of the Bank duly indicating that it was a Government Owned bank and the money kept with the bank remains always safe. A big notice in the local language was put up by me at my own cost to convince the public and the notice was written by a person specially brought from a different place just for the purpose.
I joined the Branch and took charge of it perhaps in the month of June 1977 or so and my Bank put up a high level target of procuring 6 lakhs deposit by the year end. It was hardly a lakh at that time of taking charge and I was given assistance of a clerk and an attender. I was to find out the ways as to how I should convince the villagers and attract their deposits. I was to spend sleepless nights for this purpose and any WAY I SPENT SLEEPLESS NIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS. It was a bitter experience for me and my family and we felt unsecured in the darkness. To habituate ourselves for the dinner at 5.00 pm was itself a strange matter for us.