Uttama Mahila award for tribal rights fighter

Uttama Mahila award for tribal rights fighter
Highlights

Perseverance pays as demonstrated by Laxmibai who surmounted obstacles and relentlessly fought a legal battle for ten long years to regain tribals’ lands from the clutches of non-tribal encroachers.

Laxmibai’s pursuit for justice rewarded

Adilabad: Perseverance pays as demonstrated by Laxmibai who surmounted obstacles and relentlessly fought a legal battle for ten long years to regain tribals’ lands from the clutches of non-tribal encroachers. Laxmibai’s successful endeavour in reclaiming 30-acres belonging to the tribals has won appreciation and acclaim, culminating in her being honoured with the prestigious Uttama Mahila Award on Wednesday, in connection with the International Women’s day.

Recalling her pursuit for justice, Laxmibai who hails from Dahedaguda says, “In the battle to reclaim the lands, I met officials at Utnoor ITDA, made rounds of various government offices in Hyderabad and fought legal cases over a period of 10 years. Encroachers i.e., the illegal holders of tribal lands harassed me and foisted four cases against me. They also charged me with attacking the villagers. I was not cowed down by these threats and went ahead with my legal battle.

Her activities did not end with ensuring the restoration of lands to the rightful owners, the tribals. Laxmibai was also instrumental in eligible villagers getting social welfare pensions and villagers getting work under the NREGS. As part of the Mission Kakatiya, a tank in the village was also restored. With the increase in storage level in the tank, there was bumper harvest in the village.

Laxmibai also carried out an aggressive campaign against consumption of Gudumba (liquor), “Under the influence of gudumba, men used to beat up women. Deciding to root out gudumba from the village, I, along with other women carried out raids on the brewers and sellers and destroyed the kilns. Consequently, law and order was restored in the village. Everyone in the village is leading a peaceful life now.”

Laxmibai is presently engaged in a legal fight pertaining to 22 acres of land encroached by others in Adilabad and is hopeful of succeeding in this case also. “Lands of tribals came under illegal occupation of landlords at several places. As a result, the tribals were driven out of their lands. They faced many problems for want of work. I always express my solidarity with those who fight for getting encroachments on tribals’ lands freed. I will also fight for them. I appeal to the state government to extend its support to the tribals.”

Asked about her feelings in receiving the prestigious award, she said “I fought for Kolam tribals. My objective is to resolve their problems. I struggled for them. Despite being an illiterate, I fought for the land and distributed the lands among the tribals. I consider the award given by the state government as recognition of my service to society.

By Thotla Chinna Anjaiah

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