Staff Correspondent

`Janata Darshan' held at village in Bagalkot district

CHIKKAMYAGERI (BAGALKOT DISTRICT): Renuka Hadimani from Mudhol town has a postgraduate degree. The daughter of a Devadasi, she fell in love with Prabhu Shivanna Murnal from Bagalkot, who belongs to an upper caste.

His family vehemently opposed the match and even intimidated the two. But they got married three years ago, upon which Prabhu's family disowned him.

The young couple managed to open a petty shop in Mudhol, but it ransacked by Prabhu's brothers. They approached authorities for help, in vain. Renuka had applied for some government jobs and attended interviews, but she was unsuccessful because she lacked money or influence, she told Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy here on Monday.

She broke down while narrating their problems to the Chief Minister at the `Janata Darshan' programme in this remote village near Koodalasangama. She pleaded with him to provide them with some means of livelihood and for protection from harassment by her in-laws.

Moved by the plight of the couple, Mr. Kumaraswamy asked district officials to give her Rs. 25,000 from the funds earmarked for the eradication of the Devadasi system. The officials were also told to find her a job in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation. He gave them his cellphone number, and asked them to call him if the officials did not act as directed.

A large number of people, mainly women, widows, the elderly and people with disabilities, poured out their problems.

Yogesh, a schoolboy from Bommanagi, who lost the use of his legs due to polio, said he was finding it difficult to go to school. Mr. Kumaraswamy sanctioned him a tricycle and asked him to study well. Quite a few others were also sanctioned tricycles.

Shekharappa Badiger, a school dropout with a disability, wanted a government job but Mr. Kumaraswamy advised him to go in for self-employment and sanctioned Rs. 15,000 from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

Quite a few submitted applications on the need for basic amenities. At the end of the programme, there were over 2000 applications.