Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
After their midday break at Bondalkunta, the Yatris commenced the second half of their day’s journey as temperatures rose. However the enthusiasm of the Telangana State Cadres and the sense of support from the people along the way kept them going.
And we kept meeting fervent supporters of the #BharatJodoYatra along the way. For example, halfway through we came across Shivam, Nadesan and Karthik who had come with their friends from twenty kilometers away because they “wanted to support the Yatris.”
Yatri Shatrughan Sharma in particular was much taken by a family he met on the road. “We weren’t able to converse much because of the language barrier,” he says, “But they did tell me that they were Congress supporters in the past, are currently Congress supporters, and will remain so in the future.” Such dedication is inspiring to all of us.
In the afternoon Congress leaders had an interaction with multiple farmer groups. A number of women whose farmer husbands had committed suicide spoke of their struggles. The primary issue was that tenant farmers were not recognised by the State Government and thus had no access to easier term loans, and neither had the governments written off their existing loans.
Another group of farmers spoke of how persistent crop failures had reduced them to near penury, while the state government was mostly failing to offer a survey post failure or give compensation for the loss.
Another group spoke of how the execution of the land records system has engendered fresh problems due to faulty inputting of data.
A representative for women farmers spoke of how women were discriminate against; widows were unable to get property transferred to their names and were also sometimes sexually harassed.
In response Congress MP Rahul Gandhi stated that through his meetings and interactions in the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he has come across broadly similar issues in all states. There was no magic bullet but what was required was a strategy for agriculture. He also stated that the MNREGA program of the UPA government had provided a minimum floor for farmers and labourers.
The Yatris arrived for their evening break at Gunmukla at Marikal after an approximately 8 kilometre walk. Along with them, and Gandhi, walked members of the School Sweepers Union.
And so ended the first full day of the Yatra in Telangana. Post journey’s end the Yatris moved to their night halt at Narayanpet; we all look forward to our journey through the great state of Telangana.
Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)
End of Day Travel Facts
1. Current District Name – Mahbubnagar
2. The district is famous for its ancient temples and historical structures. Pillalamari, a 700 years old Banyan tree, is a major attraction for tourists.
3. It is believed that the famous Golconda diamonds including the “Kohinoor Diamond” came from this region.
4. Mahabubnagar was an important centre during the Quit India movement and the integration of Hyderabad into the Indian Union
5. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, the great freedom fighter and first elected Chief Minister of Hyderabad was born in Mahabubnagar. He was was an active participant in the Quit India movement as well as instrumental in bringing Hyderabad into the Indian Union.
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