Andhra Pradesh

Lockdown: Ongole bull-rearers in dire straits

Traditional bull trainers are hoping against hope for early end to COVID-19 lockdown in Ongole.

Traditional bull trainers are hoping against hope for early end to COVID-19 lockdown in Ongole.   | Photo Credit: Kommuri Srinivas

They find it difficult to feed the sturdy animal; seek aid from govt.

Fifty-year-old Rangaiah, a bull trainer, go round the town with the majestic Ongole bull and used to perform a variety of tricks to eke out a living.

With lockdown in force, the bull trainer who camps in the ZP colony cluster, where a person who has returned from London tested positive for coronavirus, is now clueless on making a living.

So are the scores of Ongole bull trainers from the nomadic Jangam community who live on the outskirts of Ongole near Mangamoor Donka with no scope for returning to their native Nagallamudipi village near Tarlupadu in Prakasam district or make a living here as there is no let up in the number of COVID-19 cases.

It was they who still nurture the bovine beast, the much sought-after breed in Brazil and other parts of the globe as the average farmer had dumped the bull and went for tractors for farm operations under pressure to cut costs. “We do not how long we have to pull on like this,” says 45-year-old Kanakamma, who still rears the sturdy animal with passion.

Much against odds, they feed and train the animals to do a variety of tricks such as stamping the master without hurting him and dancing to the tunes of ‘dhol’ and ‘shehnai’ played by the master to amuse the audience. They find the going tough with no food, water and fodder for themselves and their cattle here, says Santhaiah.

With no savings to fall back upon during the lockdown period, they want the authorities to come to their aid. They could not access ration distributed under the public distribution system here as their names had been enrolled in Nagallamudipi, adds Durgamba. “We do not know how long the lockdown will be implemented,” they add keeping their fingers crossed.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:38:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/lockdown-ongole-bull-rearers-in-dire-straits/article31274534.ece

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