Hendelu village neglected; lacks amenities

The road leading to Hendelu in Belthangady taluk is in pathetic condition.

Hendelu, situated in the remote area of Kudremukh National Park jurisdiction in Belthangady taluk, is devoid of all basic facilities – including roads, electricity, bridges and even culverts.

According to the villagers, the elected representatives may not have a knowledge that this village exists. Situated six kilometres away from Shirlalu Gram Panchayat in Belthangady taluk, the village houses Malekudiya residents, who have been residing for over centuries, but remains neglected.

These residents possess land documents to prove that they have been living here for over centuries. Although they have voters’ identity cards, ration cards and Aadhaar cards too, the village residents are not provided proper connectivity but remain in darkness after sunset.

There are nine Malekudiya families reside in the village. They have been cultivating coconut, arecanut and paddy for livelihood.

Bad road

The road leading to the village is filled with gravel and soil. Although some firm had donated solar lights 10 years ago, the lights no longer work. The bulbs given recently under the Saubhagya Yojana for solar connectivity also do not burn. The children from the village have to work for seven to eight kilometres to pursue their education in schools and colleges.

“Even the Forest Rights Act of 2006 was of no benefit to us as the village is situated within 100-metre radius of the National Park,” said the villagers.

Adivasi Hakkugala Samanvaya Samiti, Belthangady taluk committee secretary Jayanand Pilikala said, “In spite of the Forest Rights Act, the village is devoid of basic facilities.”

‘Living in hell’

Mamatha H Hendelu, a private firm employee, said, “We have been living in hell without road and electricity connectivity. Without any means of transport, patients have to be carried on the shoulders.”

Monappa Malekudiya, another resident, said, “We had knocked the doors of elected representatives seeking road and electricity connectivity. All our efforts went in vain. The Forest Rights Act can be implemented only through political will power.”

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