Tragedy lands throwball player in throes of uncertainty

Tashma Muttappa

A member of India’s throwball team, Tashma Muthappa’s life was thrown out of gear when her house was ravaged by massive landslides in her village, Second Monnangeri.

The calamity has threatened her sporting career and without a permanent job, she says her return to throwball will be unlikely.

“I had 30-40 trophies, 20-25 medals and 40-50 certificates I earned since childhood when I started playing throwball. They’re all gone, along with my education documents,” says Tashma, 23, who now temporarily works as a computer operator at the Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences.

“There’s no trace that my house was ever there in the village. It was only a year ago that it was built at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.”

Flash floods and landslides in Second Monnangeri damaged 197 homes, the highest in Kodagu district, according to data made public by the district administration.

“It was around 10 am on August 17, when 60 people from the village, including my family, were trekking through the forest patches to reach safety. The roads had been blocked for the past couple of days and the mobile phone network was gone. We heard a loud sound and watched large rocks roll down. Somehow, we reached a bridge that was still standing, crossed over to the main road and reached safety,” she recollects.

For Tashma, losing her home was the second tragedy in a row. her brother Sharath had committed suicide two months before the tragedy.

Tashma, Muthappa and her mother Girija moved to a relief camp in Cherambane first and then to Madikeri. They lived in the relief camp for a month.

“Help poured in after word spread. Some Kodava families in Singapore sponsored rent for the Madikeri home where I live now. I also got help in cash from my throwball teammate Sampoorna Hegde and college friends,” she said.

Kodagu district incharge Minister Sa Ra Mahesh has promised her a permanent job in the sericulture department. “Till that happens, focusing on my sports career will be difficult as I am the sole breadwinner in the family now,” she said.

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