Telangana

Mulugu MLA treks through forests with supplies for tribals

MLA Danasari Anasuya alias Sitakka carrying groceries for tribal families in Penugolu hamlet of Wazedu mandal in Mulugu district.

MLA Danasari Anasuya alias Sitakka carrying groceries for tribal families in Penugolu hamlet of Wazedu mandal in Mulugu district.   | Photo Credit: M. MURALI

‘Their life has come to a standstill as they are not allowed to venture out for daily needs’

The nationwide lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak has brought misery to many sections of society, including tribals living in clusters spread over the thick forests here in the district. Unaware of the extent of the pandemic, they have been wondering about the restrictions on movement to even secure essentials such as salt, oil and chilli powder. Amid the chaos, their public representative and local MLA, Danasari Anasuya alias Sitakka, has reached out to them with a helping hand.

On Sunday, Ms Sitakka and a handful of her followers traversed 16 km of rough terrain in the thick forests of Wazedu mandal with food for the tribal families in Penugolu hamlet, many of whom have migrated from neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Speaking to The Hindu, Ms Sitakka said there are over 70 habitations that cannot be accessed except by foot. “What is sad is that these tribals do not know anything about coronavirus or the lockdown. Their life simply has come to a standstill as they are not allowed to venture out for their daily needs,” she explained.

Over the past one month, Ms Sitakka has been visiting one or two such hamlets, carrying rice, oil, pulses, salt, flour and other groceries to last each family a fortnight. She bought the essentials with funds mobilised through her party leaders and well-wishers.

There are several small hamlets located deep inside the forests, inhabited by migrant tribals from Chattisgarh. They do not come out of the forest despite offers of land for housing and other welfare measures. They do not know Telugu language either. A few work as agriculture labour for local farmers while many prefer to build a livelihood by hunting and small-scale farming.

Ms Sitakka, the 49-year-old former member of CPI (ML) Janashakthi naxalite group got disillusioned with the bullet and chose ballot. She gave up arms in 2004 and joined the TDP. The party’s president N. Chandrababu Naidu encouraged her and gave her a ticket. She won Mulugu MLA seat in 2009. In 2018, again, she won the seat on Congress ticket after formation of separate Telangana state.

“Whether she is in power or not, you can find Sitakka moving around in tiny villages and hamlets in Mulugu area all the time,” said Md Shafi, a resident of Jangalapalli.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 1:45:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/mulugu-mla-treks-through-forests-with-supplies-for-tribals/article31504645.ece

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