A peek into the lives of ‘Lambani Nayaka’ people in a remote, almost inaccessible village in Chitradurga district, reveals a big surprise. The tanda has 40 pucca houses and the people here have filtered drinking water facility at their doorsteps. The children go to a nearby government school. In some villages, people have access to irrigated lands. Many of them work as farm labourers while others are solely dependent on government schemes and doles.
Lambanis, a Scheduled Tribe community, constitute a good percentage of voters (almost 8-12 per cent) in Chitradurga. In each of the seven assembly segments, the Lambanis can influence the prospects of a candidate.
According to Susheela, a social worker, there has been improvement in the lives of Lambanis as they now live in pucca houses and their children go to schools. Their villages have been provided with other basic amenities such as tube lights, drinking water and sanitation facilities but with lack of irrigated lands in Chitradurga, most are dependent on daily wage labour.
Traversing from village to village in Hiriyur, Hosadurga and Chitradurga taluks, Express managed to visit a few tandas – Thandaga Lambanihatti and Hosarangapura village — that are being wooed by all the parties. Nearly 25km from Tavarekere is Katanayakanahalli. Surprisingly, the ride to the village is extremely smooth on a pucca road.
People of the ST community in Lambani Tanda in Hiriyur taluk say they are extremely happy with the Siddaramaiah government as they have been provided with water and housing facilities. However, an elderly resident, Nijalingappa, said, “This government has not done much for OBCs and BCs. All the beneficiary schemes are in favour of the STs.”
Raja Naik, a resident of the Lambani village, said, “Every house has water as well as electricity. We have pucca roads too. However, unfortunately, bus services have been stopped since the Challakere bus depot was set up.”
“In fact, 120 houses were built for Lambanis and `1,500 was given to each student,” Lakshmibai Naik, an ASHA worker, said.
Gollas not too happy
In a nearby village, Gollas are not all that happy. Jayanna, former committee president of local gram panchayat, said, “All the facilities go to Lambanis, but there is nothing for the Gollas.”
Villagers here say that borewells had dried up as water had been released from the Gayatri Reservoir and this had affected their day-to-day needs. Fluoride content in water too is another problem affecting them. There are 500 Kaadu Gollas in this village and they complain that their MLA Sudhakar had not visited them even once since he was elected. Out of a population of 1,255, only 150 are educated but there are no jobs for them. Congress promised a lot – a college, irrigation facility and bus service, Gollas chorus in one voice - disappointment obvious in their tone.