By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri
For Nanda Mhatre, Bharat Yatri, the past few days have followed a predictable schedule. Wake up to heavy rains around 5AM. Get ready, have breakfast and get to the starting point, in raincoats or under an umbrella. And then just around the time the walk begins, the rains ease off. And then the yatris walk the morning session mostly under pleasant skies, and intermittent showers.
So it was, today as well. The Yatris had a somewhat delayed start before they started their walk from Bommagondanahalli.
“It was a pleasant walk” says Mhatre, “Made even more interesting by the number of villages along the way and the people lined up to receive us.” The last few days had seen morning walks through a comparatively more rural landscape with less habitation. At times the road conditions were less than perfect, but the yatra made do. Or, in the words of Yatri Shatrughan Sharma, “We continue to keep going, regardless of conditions.”
A great benefit of the #BharatJodoYatra has been the different number of people we meet along the way. Today it was the turn of Congress MP Jairam Ramesh who spoke of meeting the “son of the local organiser Reshma Suresh, young Sudarshan Nayaka, a tribal boy with dreams of becoming an IAS officer. He’s a student of Navodaya Vidyalaya, a hugely empowering institution.”
A tribal boy dreaming of becoming an IAS officer, while studying at the local Navodaya Vidyalaya – even if we say so ourself, one can clearly see the impact of the Congress party’s policies and programs. The Bharat Jodo Yatra exists in part to continue these same values.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is presently in the state of Karnataka. Over 21 days in the state, it will cover 511 kilometres.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Kashmir up in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.
Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)
Midday Travel Facts
1. Current District Name – Chitradurga
2. Chitradurga is famous for its picturesque forts.
3. According to the Mahabharatha, Chitradurga hill was the residing place of Hidimbasura.
4. Turuvanuru village, located in the Chitradurga district, has a strong association with the freedom struggle. It shot into fame as one of the centres for Mahatma Gandhi’s call for liquor prohibition in India in 1939.
5. Chitradurga district was one of the main centres in Karnataka during the Quit India Movement, 1942
6. Chitradurga is one of the country’s driest districts. It has witnessed 59 droughts in a century, from 1901 to 2000, according to the district’s agriculture department.