Lambani tanda: A tale of perennial neglect

Lambani tanda: A tale of perennial neglect

The tanda comes under the Mayakonda hamlet in the thick forests of Handimatti, Galimatti, Kodematti and Jenumatti on the border between the districts of Davangere and Chitradurga.

Not that politicians are unaware of the subhuman conditions prevailing in the tanda. But, they know better that it is more useful to remember people in the tanda during elections, for they can dole out promises and extract votes from the gullible people. “It goes without saying that the age-old promise of roads to the tanda haven’t materialised yet,” said Sevyuanaika, the village head.

The fact that people in the tanda are deprived of basic amenities is a given. But what makes their lives precarious is that they live in the midst of thick forests under the constant fear that animals like leopards, bears and wild boars may attack them anytime. They are also vulnerable to snake bites.

“One shudders to remember the shock and grief that the family of Naganaika, who was mauled recently by a leopard, went through,” said Lakshmibai of the tanda. Neeraganti Rudranaika, another resident of the tanda, was overcome by emotion as he heard this.
Residents of the tanda depend on Mayakonda, which is five kms away, even for small necessities like matchboxes or flour mills. They have to tread a distance of 10 kms to Huchchavvanahalli for their ration supplies, on difficult terrain filled with stones and weeds. 

If there is a snake bite or an animal attacks or a pregnant woman has labour pain at night, they have to take the bullock cart to hospitals, which are quite a distance from the tanda. After all this, there is no guarantee that lives will be saved.

The story of daily hardships is not restricted to Bullapur. It’s ditto with the more than hundred such tandas in the district, which do not have even the basic road infrastructure to connect to the outer world. There are more than 40 such tandas in Channagiri taluk, like Madhuranayakanahalli, Medugondanahalli and Maravanji, while Narenahalli and Byatarayanahalli tandas come under Jagalur taluk. Each tanda has a population of more than 300 and more than 100 voters. 

But interestingly, people in none of these tandas have ever boycotted elections, even though the polling booth is far away. Every time the tanda has recorded a whopping turnout of 80 per cent.

It will probably be no different during the panchayat elections this time too. One thing is for sure. The people in the tandas won’t get even a promise till the next polls.

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