It’s plain(s) tragedy for Chenchu tribe
This story is true to life. It reminds one of the maxim “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.” The Chenchus in Prakasam district are facing the same predicament.
Yerragondapalem: This story is true to life. It reminds one of the maxim “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.” The Chenchus in Prakasam district are facing the same predicament. They had migrated from their habitations to the plains following assurances by the officials of a rosy life for them and their children. Now, they are going through untold hardships and blaming the officialdom for all their sufferings.
The Chenchus, while initially living in their habitations, were never exposed to the trappings of power, glitter of show business and the like. They used to be content, while being dependent on forest produce to eke out a living. They used to collect roots, nuts, fruits and other forest produce to satiate their hunger. Now, after being transported briefly to another world by officials who had intruded into their habitations, all of a sudden they feel that they have been left in the lurch.
Their sufferings began the moment officials entered their habitations. The officials promised to transform their lives and held out hopes of a far better life for their children. Naive by nature, the Chenchus trustingly moved to the plains believing that their lives would really be transformed and that their children would have a bright future.
About 12 years ago, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) and the Forest authorities promised them five acres of land to till, schools for their wards, and permanent houses with all amenities. But, none of the promises has so far been fulfilled. In the past, the police allegedly used them as informants to collect information on Maoists in the Nallamala forests. The police, during the combing operation, used to attack the tribal people to extract information on the Maoists and their activities.
Against this frightful background, the Chenchus agreed to leave the Agency areas to settle in plains, believing that their lives would change for the better. Today they cannot help blaming the government for washing its hands off after merely allotting house sites to tribals. They could only pitch huts on the lands as they lack money to build permanent houses. The huts were ravaged by nature’s fury.
Majority of the Chenchu families that had migrated to the plains have since returned to their places of origin. Only those hailing from Burugundala, Alatam and Guttalachenu still remain stranded. The Girijan Cooperative Society Corporation, which initially provided the Chenchus with rice, oil and turn dal, has now abandoned them to their fate. They are now finding it difficult to meet both ends.