MANGALURU: A 72-year-old man Kenchappa Gowda who spent over 48 years in forest at Markanja village in Sullia taluk died after a brief illness on Friday. A year ago the then Deputy Commissioner of the district A B Ibrahim had tried to bring Kenchappa to the mainstream by directing revenue officials to meet him in the forest. However, he did not pay heed to their request and continued to live in the forest.
According to sources, Kenchappa was an agriculturist and he had left his house at the age of 23. He used to live in a small hut, which was made of bamboo and leaves of arecanut tree. When wild animals would come to attack him, he would climb a tree to protect himself. Though he lived in dense forest, he used to bring wood and leaf manure to his brother Chinnappa Gowda’s house once in day and have food.
However, though his family members had tried to convince him to stay at home, he never listened to them. It is said his brother Chinnappa forcibly took him to his home and was nursing him from the last one year after he fell ill. However, he died on Friday evening.
One more ‘forest man’ in Sullia taluk
Another person Chandrashekhar Gowda who is from Aranthodu village (neighbor village of Markanja) in Sullia taluk also opted to live in forest from the last 12 years. The 50-year-old Chandrashekhar was a car driver by profession. He obtained loan from a cooperative society, but did not repay it. Hence, his land was taken over by the cooperative society. Later, he opted to live in his car nearby the forest.
The then Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim met him at the forest and took him to his office a year ago. Ibrahim promised one acre of land to him under Akrama Sakrama. However, he was never convinced and is still staying in his car nearby the forest.