KARNATAKA

A dream come true for an accident victim

Siddaraju awaiting his turn on a tricycle to meet the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, at the Janata Darshan in Mysore on Saturday.

Siddaraju awaiting his turn on a tricycle to meet the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, at the Janata Darshan in Mysore on Saturday.  

MYSORE, JULY 24. For this 43-year-old physically challenged man, getting a motorised tricycle to tide over the problems posed by his disability has been his life's dream. In pursuit of it, he had attended many Janata Darshans held by political leaders.

A native of Jyothi Gowdanapura village in Chamarajanagar district, Siddaraju, who lost both his legs in a road accident, met the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, on Saturday and urged him to grant a motorised tricycle. A postgraduate in history from the University of Mysore, Mr. Siddaraju is now studying at Sharada Vilas Law College.

Mr. Siddaraju told The Hindu that despite a letter from the Chief Secretary in this connection, the Chamarajanagar Taluk Panchayat had not released money to him for buying the tricycle. He was attending Mr. Siddaramaiah's Janata Darshan not only to ask for money but also to thank him. Armed with a letter of approval by the Chief Secretary, he was seen patiently waiting in the queue for his turn. He knew his dream machine was only a few weeks away once the Deputy Chief Minister issued directions to the officials.

And he succeeded in his attempt. Mr. Siddaraju was one among the thousands of supporters of Mr. Siddaramaiah who queued up at the Mysore Zilla Panchayat office braving the scorching sun and a late afternoon rain.

Large crowd

According to officials, 3,000 people turned up for the programme, though it was publicised only in the Chamundeshwari constituency, which is represented by Mr. Siddaramaiah. Hordes of people from villages in Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar had gathered at the entrance even before Mr. Siddaramaiah arrived at the office.

The police had a tough time controlling the crowd, which became restive as time went by. A review meeting attended by the Deputy Chief Minister continued a couple of hours past the scheduled time for the Janata Darshan.

The grievances were wide and varied, and ranged from those for employment by the youth to requests for funds by organisations.

Grievances

Many wanted facilities under the 18 per cent reservation scheme for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes extended to them. Requests also poured in for allotment of houses. Though most people had memorandums and letters to be handed over to Mr. Siddaramaiah, some came only to have a glimpse of their leader and a chance to shake hands with him.

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