Alumnus Y.K. Chalamcherla is now a public servant in California
Sri Venkateswara University campus is agog with loud cheers with its alumnus Chalamcherla Yedukondalu (now Y.K. Chalamcherla) getting elected to the Folsom city council in California, USA.
Born in Vidavalur of Nellore district, Mr. Chalamcherla did his computer science engineering at SVU in the early nineties. Hailing from a family with meagre income, he stayed in State-funded hostels and gave tuitions to fund his education. With great grit, he went on to become a Group-A gazetted officer in the Income Tax Department, worked on PAN number architecture and development in New Delhi.
After quitting his job in 1998, Mr. Chalamcherla shifted to Singapore and later to the U.S. in 2000 to work on the Y2K bug. “My parents had a small shop in our hamlet of 150 houses. When I was working in the fields and grazing cattle, they taught me the importance of education and altruism,” Mr. Chalamcherla told The Hindu in a telephonic interview. He also recalled how his father-in-law T. Venkateswarlu, an IAS officer, inspired him to work harder.
Passion for service
Mr. Chalamcherla says public service is his passion. “I have been a public servant for 23 years, first with the Indian government, then Singapore and now in California,” he said. Representing the Asian community, he was actively involved in tree plantation, child safety and traffic control programmes in schools and parks. He has conducted California State job awareness workshops for seven years, helping hundreds of youth get State positions. He also offers support to homeless persons and children of imprisoned parents, who he feels need to be embraced.
During his college days, Mr. Chalamcherla used to be associated with social and student-centric activities. “He is involved in ‘IGNITE’, the university’s ‘entrepreneurial club’, even recently. Going by his high ambitions, he has the ability to become a senator in California,” said Suresh Perugu, a senior member of SVU Alumni Association, who had taught Mr. Chalamcherla in the early nineties.
Braving COVID, Mr. Chalamcherla reached out to his voters by standing at a busy junctions and waving hands to draw their attention. He used social media the most, as part of his strategy to reach out to more Americans. “I spent a mere $8,000 as compared to some of my rivals who spent $1,50,000,” he said. Having lost the 2018 elections for want of time, Mr. Chalamcherla quit his senior executive job and started focusing on buildjng ties with the community, thus emerging successful this time.