Fighting a lone battle for justice

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Chedda Sitamma
Chedda Sitamma

Santosh Patnaik

Compensation for the land acquired eludes her

KILLOGUDA (VISAKHAPATNAM DT.): For the 50-year-old Chedda Sitamma, it has been a relentless struggle since her husband Matsiraju died 16 years ago leaving behind three children. By growing vegetables in her fields and selling them at Seethammadhara Rythu Bazaar of Visakhapatnam, she could admit two of her daughters in college in the city. Her son died due to ill health sometime ago.

She got the real shock of her life when 1.1 acres of land owned by her has been acquired for construction of a government dispensary in her hamlet.

And some village elders misled her by promising adequate compensation but showed the alienation of the land in question as a gift deed.

“I am illiterate and entire my life I have struggled for the upkeep of my children.

They told me to put my thumb impression in some papers and I did without understanding their real motive,” she tells this correspondent with tears rolling down from her eyes.

Effort in vain

Sitamma says the land located in Survey No. 175-3 in the hamlet coming under Sagar panchayat in Dumbriguda mandal was taken from her four years ago. Since then, she has been running from pillar to post for compensation.

“While asking for the land, they (village elders) told me that the government will give me a job in the dispensary and some monetary compensation along with an alternative land. Till now, nothing has materialised,” she bemoans.

Sitamma, a Nookadora, now grows vegetables in two acres of wetland owned by her. She also buys locally-grown beans, cabbage, karat, ginger and cauliflower and goes to Rythu Bazaar to spend four days a week. One of her daughters studies degree, while another is in Intermediate.

“I am also not bothering my children with the land issue as it will affect their studies. I have the hope that someday the officials will understand the sacrifice made by me (for giving the land for a good cause) and offer the compensation due to me,” she says with a ray of hope.



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