S. Harpal Singh
Keeping strict vigil at the waterfall, Bheemanna averts many a suicide
At least two people used to commit suicide by jumping into the reservoir Bheemanna looks for people with suspicious movements, especially loners
POCHERA (ADILABAD DT.): At least 12 persons from the surrounding villages of Pochera waterfall in Boath mandal owe their lives to the ever-vigilant M. Bheemanna, a watchman at the picnic spot. Unwittingly donning the role of a saviour, he not only dissuaded a dozen from committing suicide at the waterfall, but also participated in resolving the familial disputes and other problems due to which they attempted suicide.
Before Bheemanna's appointment as watchman three years back, the Pochera waterfall was the chosen spot for those with suicidal tendencies.
Locals say that at least two persons committed suicide every month by jumping into the reservoir below the waterfall.
"Fishing out dead bodies was a regular affair before Bheemanna came here," said Pandiri Shankar, a local fisherman in support of the contention.
Pochera waterfall saw rapid development as a tourist spot thanks to the efforts of Deputy Conservator of Forest (logging) Mahender Reddy.
The development also saw handing over the management of the tourist spot to a self-help group, which appointed Bheemanna from nearby Tejapur as watchman.
"My instructions were clear. No dead body should be found in the waterfall. I started looking out for people with suspicious movements especially loners," disclosed the watchman.
"There was this woman who had come carrying her one-year-old daughter. I spotted her before she could approach the high edge of the river. She agreed not to jump when I pointed out the innocence of the kid. Later, I talked to her family members and now they are living happily," remembered Bheemanna. The watchman even remembered names of some of the persons whom he successfully had dissuaded from committing suicide. Besides family problems, failure in SSC was the other important reason given by a few, he added.
"I am particularly watchful in the early hours of the day. People with suicidal tendencies come between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.," pointed out Bheemanna.