32- For the tribal Banothu Hanumanathu, a resident of Mogilicheruvu Tanda under Etigadakishtpur panchayat in Toguta mandal, Monday was the last day of his life. Unable to bear the pressure of evacuating his home and village, he suffered a cardiac arrest and breathed his last while being transferred to the government hospital in Gajwel.
The funeral was conducted on Tuesday by his son Anil, 14, studying in class 9, in the presence of all the villagers. Her 55-year-old grandmother Buli, 29-year-old mother Jyoti and her six and four-year-old sisters helplessly watched Hanumanathu’s last visit.
Anil’s two young sisters could not understand what was happening and could not understand that their father would never return. While the teenage son knew he could understand that his father was no more, but could not yet understand how it would affect life for him and his family.
Ms. Jyoti of Pallepahar Tanda was married to Hanumanathu a decade and a half ago. She is struggling to come to terms with the fact that Mallansagar has claimed her matrimonial home not only in Mogilicheruvu Tanda but also in her ancestral village Pallepahar Tanda. Both Tandas will drown in Mallansagar.
After the commencement of the remaining work for Mallanasagar in 2015, uncertainty had spread in our lives and thoughts. Since then we have been protesting repeatedly but to no avail. Eight people died in the village in the last five years or so. Something else could remain there was no pressure. Our life is bonded with land and animals (cows and goats). Thanks to the Mallansagar Reservoir. Our entire tanda was surrounded by deeply excavated pits filled with red and black mud water and huge mounds. It looks like an extensive grave yard. We are being forcibly taken away from our lands and animals, ”said a villager lamenting the death of Hanumanathu, who lived among them till yesterday.