Almost all of his songs have crossed one lakh views on YouTube. With a skyrocketing fan base, he is perhaps the next public sensation in Telangana. But most of the time, he can be spotted on the streets, sometimes in knee-deep mud, clearing out a puddle that’s blocking traffic, or at times donating blood for road accident victims.
Anjapally Nagamallu has wowed people with his endless acts of kindness. He is not a singer or celebrity, he is Telangana’s “Police Anna” – the traffic inspector with a heart of gold.
Singing for social awareness
Anjapally comes from a family of daily wage labourers and has faced many struggles growing up. In his youth, he qualified for both the District Selection Committee (DSC) and Police Recruitment Board exams. He opted to become a policeman over a teacher because he wanted to serve the people directly.
Composing songs has always been his forte, recollecting the traditional folk tunes of his native village as his inspiration. Nagamallu has been writing songs since his college days, but it was a brutal crime that spurred him to use songs as a medium of awareness. During his days in Nalgonda, a 55-year-old woman was burnt alive by other villagers on the suspicions of practising black magic.
“Mahesh Bhagwat, the then Superintendent of Police (SP) started a widespread campaign to bust all irrational beliefs and prejudices rife in these regions. There I witnessed how songs and poems were performed to make the public aware of social ills. I realised how such stunts can have a better effect than mere words,” shares Anjapally.
A YouTube sensation
Even before joining the police department, Anjapally wrote several songs in Telugu on social issues like women empowerment, education, patriotism as well as songs about his birthplace. In fact, Nagamallu’s earliest song about martyrs became quite a hit over local television and radio! He was invited to perform it on several occasions.
After joining the police, his songwriting talent soon caught the attention of the authorities and the public. That is when he focussed more on raising socio-political and civic awareness through his music. Today, he has over 15 bestseller songs and nearly 50 videos on a wide range of issues – ranging from road safety to local festivals, cybercrime to fake news.
His traffic song “Rayyu Rayyu” is a major hit and has yielded immense success in motivating people to abide by traffic rules in Rachakonda.
“I have released the song in Kannada and Hindi as well, and plan to sing it in 10 more languages. I want the message to reach as many people as possible.”
The people’s ‘Police Anna’
Police Anna’s popularity is not just limited to his singing prowess, rather his kind deeds draw more respect from the citizens. Such is his dedication towards humanity that he has donated blood on-duty more than 25 times, and saved lives of over 80 accident victims.
Anjapally always keeps a first aid kit handy to provide basic treatment to accident survivors. Furthermore, he has mortgaged his own assets to build houses for an old woman and a differently-abled individual. “They needed my help,” he shares about his noble acts without a shred of pride in his voice.
Besides, Anjapally also conducts social awareness drives across Telangana villages, keeping the audience enthralled with his natural talents while inculcating the necessary messages.
“I just feel happy to reach out to people in need,” he says politely while talking to The Better India. Anjapally’s social media accounts display his contact details in big, bold fonts, making sure anyone can reach him 24X7.
“But many people also call to appreciate my work and offer their gratitude. It feels like a blessing,” he shares.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)