Nagaraju Koppula overcame many hurdles to become a fine journalist

Nagaraju Koppula was truly exceptional and gifted in more than one way. Born into an extremely poor and socially backward family in a village in Khammam District of Telangana, he successfully fought with the acute difficulties in his childhood and student life and could also become a well recognized journalist with a mainstream English newspaper in Hyderabad. A few weeks before his 35th birthday, he died of cancer on 12 April 2015, and we have lost this empathetic journalist and a wonderful human being.

Nagaraju Koppula, born on 25 May 1980 belonged to the Madiga Dalit community. His family was one among many families of migrant labourers who had come to the village of Sarapaka, situated on the banks of the Godavari River, to eke out a living as construction workers in a paper mill that was being setup.

The youngest of five siblings, he and his family lived in a mud and thatched-roof hut. His father died when he was just four. Together with his brothers and sisters, he sold ice to visitors at a local temple and painted signboards to earn a pittance. Amid these circumstances, he had a burning desire to study. With his sincerity, hard labour and zeal, he was successful in earning a postgraduate degree in History from the University of Hyderabad, followed by a diploma in Mass Communications.

In his short span of life, Nagarju demonstrated the importance of determination that is worth learning to lead a meaningful life. The UoH fraternity expresses its deep condolence to the distinguished alumnus. The UoH Alumni Association has also come together and shall be instituting a fellowship in his memory to be awarded to an upcoming dalit journalist.

He had set his mind on becoming a journalist, that too, an investigative journalist working with a reputed English daily.

In Nagaraju’s short life he demonstrated the importance of determination in a way that many of us are incapable of enduring. Nagaraju lives in the memory of his family, friends and well-wishers. The media too has lost a fine journalist but his warm smile and fine personality lives with us ever.

-Ashish Jacob Thomas