They arrived for a living, but death was at their doors...

Drought forced this family to leave their village in search of a livelihood in Bengaluru. But death came knocking on their doors as soon as they reached the city they thought would give them succour.

Shivappa and his family members left their village Kalaburagi to make an honourable living. It left Ninganna, Shivappa’s brother, cursing the persistent demand he made to the family to move to Bengaluru. Ninganna had not imagined that he would receive dead bodies of his brother and his family, instead of welcoming them when they reached his house.

“Successive droughts and a barren, small piece of land which my brother owned at Hasanapura village made his life miserable. He had borrowed money from various sources for cultivation, but crops failed. He had landed in utter poverty. He decided to move to Bengaluru as I repeatedly urged him to come here. It turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life,” Ninganna told Deccan Herald.

Shivappa had worked as a construction labourer in the city on a couple of occasions in the past. “My uncle would go back after earning some money as he was happy staying in Hasanapura, while my father settled in Bengaluru 10 years ago,” Ninganna’s daughter said.

Mariyappa was the only son of Shivappa, while Maithra, Mariyamma, Pallavi, Vijayalakshmi and Lakkamma were his daughters. Maithra’s daughter Ranjitha, who also died in the accident, was attached to Shivappa and his wife Mahadevi.

Hence, they had brought her along. They struck a deal with Shankarappa, the autorickshaw driver, as it was difficult for them to pay for two autorickshaws. They had brought two bags of rice, tur dal and other essentials so that they could manage for a while even without jobs. Shankarappa agreed to ferry seven passengers and luggage for some extra fare.

It’s an old autorickshaw and the accident took place while it was moving down a steep stretch. The autorickshaw’s brakes gave way and Shankarappa could not control it. The mini-truck loaded with bricks was parked near an under-construction building. The workers had unloaded a few bricks and had gone for lunch.

Shankarappa, Shivappa and Mahadevi were killed on the spot, while Lakkamma and Ranjitha succumbed to their injuries at the KC general hospital.

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