The colony was formed in 1985 amid what was almost a jungle, with hardly any road. Today, it has become a closely-knit residential colony with over 1,000 families

With every department, including Urban Land Ceiling, VUDA and GVMC, claiming jurisdiction over the land between Madhavadhara on the east and Madhavadhara VUDA Colony on the west, residents of Kalinga Nagar heaved a sigh of relief after a decade-long struggle to get the agricultural land regularised.

The colony was formed in 1985 amid what was almost a jungle, with hardly any road. Today, it has become a closely-knit residential colony with over 1,000 families. Kalinga Nagar is a little distance away from the old Punjab Hotel near R and B office to MNR Park, Madhavadhara. People purchased the plots from farmers and built houses using all of their savings.

Now, the area dominated by Kalinga community, also has a mix of other communities.

The slum adjacent to the by-lanes of the colony is home to domestic workers, washermen, and labourers. Although there are several independent houses dotting the colony, the apartment culture has gained prominence in the locality.

Service activity

Since its formation in 1985, Kalinga Seva Sangam has taken up a number of sanitation works and social activities.

“Owing to different reasons, the sangam has been inactive for the last few months. Without a community hall, it is hard for us to get the residents together for a community initiative,” says Ponnada Appa Rao, president of the sangam and one of the first residents of the colony.

DWCRA group and self-help group representatives, who reside in the colony, say that they wish to unite as an association and engage resources to conduct workshops for women.

“Many slum-dwellers in the colony, particularly widows, find it difficult to make both ends meet. The meagre income they earn working as domestic help hardly help them survive. We have approached several political leaders to provide employment opportunities for these women but nothing positive has resulted so far,” worries T. Padmaja, an self-help group leader who has been living in the colony for the last 20 years.

Unemployment

Despite most of these women being trained in tailoring and other soft skills, their struggle for better standard of living continues.

Strangely, many men also join to say most of the youth in the colony are unemployed and are in search of a sustainable livelihood.

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