Meet Shivakumar Tontapura: AAP's visually impaired candidate from Koppal

Shreyas H S
Daijiworld Media Network

Koppal, Mar 29: Confidence and courage can defy any physical disability and enable one to achieve goals that most others dream only of. In the Lok Sabha election season, while some of the senior leaders vying for tickets had to face disappointments, here is a special candidate from Aam Aadmi Party who has been selected to represent the Koppal constituency. What makes Shivakumar N Tontapura special is the fact that he is visually-impaired, the only such candidate in the state.

But politics is not new to Shivakumar N Tontapura. Breaking the shackles of physical disability, he strongly established his identity even before he was inducted into AAP. He stood as an Independent candidate during the last parliamentary elections in 2009 with an aim to demand reservation for the differently-abled in politics. He managed to garner 5,000 votes. As per the recent data, there are 3 crore differently-abled people in the country.

When daijiworld contacted him for an exclusive interview, he unfurled a plethora of ideas for his constituency, spoke about his journey in politics and expressed confidence of winning.

Excerpts from the interview

DW: What in particular inspired you to enter politics?

Shivakumar: Frankly, I entered politics to fight for reservations for the differently-abled that has not been considered even after 67 years of Independence. According to the current data available there are as many as 3 crore differently-abled persons in the country who are deprived of opportunities in politics. We are totally sidelined. Are we not human beings? So when I contested in 2009, this was the sole reason that inpired me to stand as an Independent candidate from Koppal.


DW: Have your aims and dreams taken a different shape after your association with AAP, a party that has created ripples in the country?

Shivakumar: The earlier motto has not changed and never will. But being a staunch party worker my responsibilities have doubled, and together with demanding reservations for the differently-abled, I now have more reasons to contest. AAP has touched a chord with the people, giving new life to dead hopes and aspirations of the people who are fed up with the unhealthy governance.


DW: What are the key problems pertaining to your constituency, which is one of the most backward districts in the state?

Shivakumar: Unemployment is the biggest burden on our district. As a result youths are either migrating or are left in the lurch, failing to find a suitable, well-paying job. Youths are  succumbing to pressure of finding a job and resorting to alcohol as a result. I will leave no stone unturned to generate more employment in the district, while also propagating awareness on agriculture so that more youths actively take part in the traditional way of earning a living.

At the same time, I plan to bring more industries to the district to eradicate the unemployment problem. I do not want to create an illusion by making unrealistic development plans since I understand the limitation of my post. What I primarily need to do is convince the decision makers in Delhi to bring good projects to Koppal.


DW: What made you take up social service?

Shivakumar: The term 'social service', according to me, is a wrong term. Everyone at some point of their lives choose a profession, and in a similar manner I have opted for this as my profession. When I was in 8th standard, I was isolated from the class, for the reason that I was far ahead of my classmates. One day, I still remember, all my friends stopped talking to me. Those days I had 50 percent vision. The moment I was cornered, I went to a nearby library and for the next three years I dedicated myself completely to reading. I read around 200-300 books that inspired me to think differently. After I completed my BCom, my father told me I could earn money if I go to the city but not satisfaction. Taking a serious note of his words I came back to Koppal after finishing my studies in Bangalore.


DW: How confident are you of winning the election?

Shivakumar: It is uncertain, but over the years the country under the regime of many governments has failed to witness democracy in its true spirit. Moreover, democracy was only reserved to the rich while the common man has been neglected. So people this time want to choose an alternative party and even in Koppal the same would happen in the forthcoming elections. Common man will win this time.

He urged readers to contribute financially to support his candidature:

Shivakumar Navali Siddappa Tontapur
Account number: 62337704049
State Bank of Hydrabad
Kushtagi Branch
Branch code: 20210
Micro number: 583004509

IFSC: SBHY 0020210



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Comment on this article

  • Robert Bernard Lobo, Kuppepadav/Gujarat

    Sun, Mar 30 2014

    This time only and only truth will win. Enough corruption did by BJP and congress.people in religions,looted our country since 65 years, now is the time for Aam Aadmi Party to come and bring great change in the country, people of this country will rule now. So wish you all the best to Aap

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand, karkala

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    Already a winner and no need to fight the election. God bless you and all the best for your future...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter Pereira, Nagoya, Japan

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    AAP certainly is party with a difference. All the best Mr. Shivakumar. May God give you success.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Fernandes, Dubai

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    I am not against his physical disability. GOD bless him.
    But what is AAP trying to prove??? Playing with emotions of people?
    Time will tell those who are still optimistic about the AAP.

    DisAgree [42] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Fernandes, Dubai

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    It is like asking polio patient to run 100mts race.
    There is nothing wrong with the patient but is he the right candidate to run 100mts??
    We indians are usually emotional fools. We always think from heart. Sometimes we should think from Brain!!
    For me liar is also okay but lier in saint's dress is always dangerous. I hope you understood whome i am referring to.

    DisAgree [41] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raju, manglore

    Sun, Mar 30 2014

    well said.... i agree with you. just see the disagree numbers. what that mean ?
    evry day new things coming and people want that new things... they forget old things which already done and they blame that new thing is not done. hehehehehehe

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil, Dubai/Mlore

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    Good candidate. Pitty that none of the commentors are voters of his region

    DisAgree [2] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Common Man (Aam Aadmi), Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    AAP candidate Shivakumar will win this time from Koppal. As he said, democracy was only reserved to the rich while the common man has been neglected. So people this time wants to choose an alternative party and even in Koppal the same would happen in the forthcoming elections. The common man will win this time.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • AAP, Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    Wish u all the Best

    DisAgree [3] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    This is a very good move by AAP to make this guy contest in the elections! All the best...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    Good luck. Very proud of you.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fredrick DSouza, Shirthady / Doha

    Sat, Mar 29 2014

    Shivakumar is an inspiration to all and a worthy candidate to represent the people.Wishing him everything best to elect as MP.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [64] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Meet Shivakumar Tontapura: AAP's visually impaired candidate from Koppal

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