Life hard for people of villages amid pvt plantations

‘Permission Letters’ issued by self-styled gatekeepers of private plantations are literally ‘tickets of freedom’ for the dozen families residing at Mudur village, near Jadkal, Kundapur taluk.

For without these permission letters, which allows them access into the private plantations, the outside world more or less remains out of the bounds for these families, a majority of whom belong to SC/ST communities.

Sunder Bovi, hailing from the Bovi community, said that there were a lot of rules to adhere to in order to obtain the permission letters. Ratna Bovi said that they need to collect a permission letter even to get milk and return within the time mentioned in the letter.

“Sometimes we have to beg these gatekeepers to get permission letters or to allow us inside for having exceeded the time limit. Even school-going children are not exempted from this process,” Sunder Bovi said expressing helplessness. Physical barriers restricting movement has made lives miserable for the residents of Bavikatte, Adigadde, Kolakodu, Melmeri, Nuggigadde and Kokkodu villages.

Adding to their woes is the acute shortage of water which aggravates during peak summer. A majority of the members of these 12 families (in Mudur village) are elderly citizens and children. The old and young alike are forced to collect the permission letters in order to avoid walking long distances to reach the nearest school or hospital.

Sunder Bovi vividly remembers of a narrow stretch that connected villages. But the stretch was closed and families were confined within a limited area after the plantations were purchased by private entities, he recollected.

He accused the district administration of ignoring their grievances. “We possess documents that prove our ancestors had resided in this area from as early as 1908. But the district administration cannot even spare a minute to listen to our grievances,” he rued.

The residents now pin hope on a road which would become their gateway to the world.

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