Villagers here risk their lives to carry dead bodies

Villagers here risk their lives to carry dead bodies

Transporting bodies for the last rites to the burial ground has become a risky job for the residents of Mamballi village. Even though there is a small bamboo bridge across the Suvarnavathi River in the village, it does not help the people much. Those taking part in the last rites have to cross the river by entering the waters.

More so this year, because the region has received good rains, after over a decade, and also the excess water from the canals has been let into the river. Surprisingly, MLA of Kollegal constituency S Jayanna hails from this village. Earlier MLAs of Kollegal, Kempamma and Siddamadaiah, also were natives of the village.

The village has Dalits and Muslims in huge numbers. Except for Muslims, there is no burrial ground for the villagers in the village. The issue of the land sanctioned for the Dalits is pending before a court. The plight of the other communities is much worse. They burry the bodies on a private land, adjoining the river on the other side.

Recently, a man belonging to the Medar (people who make articles for domestic use and also artefacts from bamboo) community died in the village. The community people laid a temporary bridge with bamboos across the river to cross it. While the body was being shifted on their shoulders, to the private land the bridge collapsed. However, the people somehow ensured that the body did not fall into the river. They managed to reach the other bank of the river and performed the last rites.

"Our village has given three MLAs to the state so far. But, they have turned a blind eye to our problems. Either they should provide all facilities in the village itself or provide a bridge across the river for transportation," said residents Shivakumar and Mahesh.

Nanjundaswamy, Naga and Shivamallu said the demand of the Dalits for grant of government land for a burial ground has fallen on deaf ears.

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