It's all in the family, of 150!

It's all in the family, of 150!

An old photo of Narasingappa’s large family.

Today, the family is headed by eighty-year-old Bheemanna. They own over 200 acres of land. The family has always depended on agriculture for their livelihood.

The family is named after Narasingappa, who hailed from Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district. Narasingappa belonged to a village called Hatkal Angada. He was a well-known pehelwan of the region. At some point, there was a wrestling match between him and Desai, known to be close to the administration. Desai was defeated in the contest, but, he cast an evil eye on Narasingappa, who ran away from the place with his two brothers.

While on the run, they camped near Lokur, told the elders of the village about their problem, and asked them for land to stay back in the village.

The brothers sold the jewellery they had with them and bought 30 acres of land.
The BBC featured this family in a documentary called ‘All in a family’ produced by Channel Four. It was awarded the best documentary award for that year - 1990. Later, television channels of other countries such as Japan also telecast the documentary. As many as seven to eight members of this family are employed.
There are 35 men and 35 women from the family working on their land.

Lokur has a Bala Vikas centre. The children of the people study there. As many as ten students of the family study in the local primary school. The family has also built a house for 30 children studying in Dharwad. “There is a lot of peace in an undivided family. Responsibilities are shared, and it is not always one person running the show. Also, it solves the other problem of looking for agricultural labourers, because everybody in the family contributes,” says Prabhu, a younger member of the family.
The cattle shed belonging to the family, had at one point, 130 cattle. Today, there are as many as 25 buffaloes and 25 cows. This shed is in the outskirts of the village. But, there is yet another inside the village.

In the kitchen
The kitchen in the Narasingappa household opens at 7 am. Two women make rottis from 7 am to 11.30 am. Then, between 1.30 pm and 5.30 pm, two other women take their turn at making rottis. There are as many as five stoves that burn through the day in this large family

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