UDUPI : 103-year-old Sarasajji of Kadangodu-Karje village near Brahmavara is a self-reliant woman. And lives in a hut alone. But now a new house is being constructed by one Balakrishna Shetty Haluvalli for her. The house costing Rs 1.5 lakh is partly financed by him and the rest with help from donors. Shetty wants to provide Sarasajji some minimum comfort. Devu Naik, a neighbour who spoke to The New Indian Express, said that Sarasajji is a woman who would never ask anybody anything. But the villagers feel that she needs basic necessities like toilet, bathroom and a safe house. Though she initially she refused the offer of a new house, she has now relented after being persuaded by the villagers.
Though she says she does not need any help from the government as she wants to be independent, those visiting her hut would wonder why the government’s welfare schemes have not reached her. Sarasajji does not have a ration card, Aadhaar or a voter identity card. “Why do I need all those,” she asks while stressing that she has lived all these decades without them. M R Bhat, Deputy Director of food and civil supplies department of Udupi district, told TNIE that Sarasajji will be asked to submit an application to the tahsildar of Brahmavara for getting her caste and income certificates first. “Once she gets these two certificates, she can get a BPL card from our department.
The BPL card will entitle her to 7 kg of rice every month free of cost and 1kg of tur dal at Rs 38. We will consider Sarasajji’s case as a special one and issue it immediately’’ he said. Sarasajji smiles and says, “ I do not need any comforts. I desired peace and quiet in this increasingly fast-paced world. I have lived all these years without depending on the government for anything. The solitude in my hut is my strength in this old age.’’