A trip to Andhra Pradesh gave ACJ’s business journalism students a chance to step out of the classroom and practise good, old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting. During the trip, they walked around the construction sites of Andhra’s planned capital city Amaravati, interacted with the government arm in charge of its development and interviewed migrant workers doing the actual work on the ground. They also met traders at Asia’s largest chilli market in nearby Guntur, visited the handloom workshops in Mangalagiri and met organic turmeric growers in Kasaraneni Vari Palem (about 14 km from Vijayawada).
They also visited chilli farms, cold storage facilities dedicated to storing it and the office of the Spices Board. The trip helped the students understand the real issues faced by the local farmers and business owners as the state government focuses on attracting hospitals, hotels, educational institutions and businesses to its new capital. The students will produce a special edition of their in-house magazine “The Bottomline” to showcase the stories they got during the Andhra trip, which exposed the pros and cons of building a new capital over 33,000 acres of fertile land along the Krishna river.