D.K. Kishan Rao
Mandalgera (Raichur district): “I never expected to become a gram panchayat member, but the village people forced me to file my nomination papers,” said 48-year-old Bheemaiah when he was asked to react to his election to the Singanodi Gram Panchayat in Raichur taluk. He was elected unopposed.
Two other candidates were also elected unopposed. This was for the first time that the village people managed to elect three people unopposed. Hailing from a poor Dalit family, Mr. Bheemaiah is a marginal farmer who owns 3.5 acres of dry land in the village. Apart from 30 fully grown mango trees, he cultivates paddy, tomato and horticultural crops. He also grows cotton, with a borewell providing the water. His two wives assist him in the fields. Among his three daughters, the eldest is married and the others go to school.
Mr. Bheemaiah, who has studied up to SSLC, says he has decided to dedicate his life to the improvement of Mandalgera village.
Lack of toilets in the village bothers him, and he has plans to ensure that the village gets regular water supply. Except for the construction of an overhead tank in Mandalgera village last year, so far, no action has been taken by the gram panchayat to find a source of water. He promises to concentrate on solving these problems.