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Tearful farewell to legendary entrepreneur Cherukuri Ramoji Rao

Tearful farewell to legendary entrepreneur Cherukuri Ramoji Rao


, Sunday, 9 June 2024 (18:59 IST)
A tearful farewell was given to legendary entrepreneur Cherukuri Ramoji Rao at MCT Smruthivanam in Ramoji Film City at 1135 hours on Sunday.

The last rites were conducted with full state honours. The final journey commenced from his residence in Ramoji Film City at 0930 hours. Amid poignant scenes, his elder son, Kiran Prabhakar, lit the funeral pyre, watched by thousands of people, including family members, former President M Venkaiah Naidu, politicians, film personalities, studio workers, and junior artists, all with moist eyes.

In tribute to the late Ramoji Rao, the state government declared two days of mourning (Sunday and Monday) in Andhra Pradesh. The Film Producers' Council also called for a bandh, halting film shootings on Sunday.

The body was kept in front of his residence in Ramoji Film City until the last rites, as celebrities flocked in large numbers to pay their respects.

Telangana Minister Jupally Krishna Rao attended on behalf of the Telangana government, and three senior IAS officers—Rajat Bhargava, Sai Prasad, and R. P. Sisodia—attended on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh Government. N. Chandrababu Naidu, who will assume office as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, also carried the mortal remains of Ramoji Rao.

The 87-year-old was admitted to Star Hospital in Nanakramguda due to age-related health issues on Friday night. He passed away at 4:50 AM on Saturday. His body was shifted to Ramoji Film City for the public to pay respects, and his funeral was held on Sunday.

Ramoji Rao, born on November 16, 1936, in Pedaparupudi village, Krishna district, had an incredible journey from a simple middle-class farmer family to becoming the chairman of the Ramoji Group of Companies, a legendary businessman, and a film producer. He was the son of Cherukuri Venkatasubba Rao and Venkata Submamma. In 1947, he joined the Municipal High School in Gudivada in the 8th standard and studied there until the sixth form. He completed Intermediate and B.Sc. at Gudivada College. His first job was as an artist in an ad agency in Delhi. He married Ramadevi on August 19, 1961. Ramoji Rao, who moved to Hyderabad in 1962, laid the foundation stone for Margadarsi Chitfunds in the same year.

In 1965, he started Kiran Ads. In 1969, he launched Annadata, a magazine for farmers. In 1970, he founded Images Outdoor Advertising Agency. In 1972–73, he built and opened the Dolphin Hotel in Visakhapatnam. On August 10, 1974, he launched the Eenadu daily in Visakhapatnam, which was brought to Hyderabad in December 1975. In 1976, he launched Sitara, and in 1978, he introduced Vipula and Chatura monthly magazines for movie lovers. In 1980, he introduced Priya Foods' mouth-watering pickles globally.

In 1983, he started Ushakiran Movies. Between 1992 and 1993, he fought against Sara through Eenadu until an order was passed for the prohibition of liquor. Ramoji Film City, known as the world's largest film studio, was established in 1996. In 2002, ETV launched six regional channels, initiating a new change in the TV industry. In 2016, the central government awarded him the prestigious Padma Vibhushan.(UNI)

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