DIMADURTHI (NIRMAL): Asked about his expectations from the incoming government, Shivarati Sammaiah, a daily wage labourer, says he does not think it would make a difference to his life.
A separate Telangana state has brought no change, he says.
“It’s the same as it has always been. Before Telangana and after Telangana formation. Every election, we cast our vote hoping to get something, but we get nothing,” says Sammaiah, sitting in front of his house on CC Road in Dimmadurthi village while his wife is busy with household chores. The side “wall” of the house is a plastic sheet while there is a gaping hole at the back, where a wall once stood.
Sammaiah’s house in the second lane on the Nirmal to Mancherial road in Dimmadurthi village which comes under the Nirmal constituency. The lane has three houses with RCC roofs and two to three “huts” that have more plastic than mud and bricks.
“In the rainy season, the overflow from the Kadam project submerged my house. It’s completely damaged now. I did not get any compensation,” Sammaiah says.
In fact, no one received any compensation. Most of the villagers say that their houses were damaged. Officials visited the village, collected details and left, they say, adding that they have all but given up hope of receiving compensation.“After the floods, leaders of various political parties and officials came here. They promised all kinds of support but we didn’t even get a kg of rice. Only we know how we survived,” Sammaiah says.
Shivarati Samaiah says that he fears that the walls still standing will collapse at any moment, but he has no place else to go. “No one came forward to genuinely help us after the floods. Except for lip service, we got nothing. Now they come, asking for votes,” Samaiah says.
When asked, he says that he applied for BC Bandhu in MeeSeva but didn’t get it. “I also applied for a 2BHK house under the Dignity Housing scheme. Apart from losing money at MeeSeva centres for filing the application, nothing came of it,” Samaiah says. “I am a daily wage labourer who can eat only if I find work. I don’t have any agricultural land. I had two daughters, one has died and the other is married. My wife and I live in this hut,” he says.
Samaiah says that if the government allotted him a 2BHK house, he could sleep peacefully even when there is flooding. “The last two rainy seasons have been spent fearing for our lives,” he says.
A distance away, a group of women — Kudimala Tirumala, Adhe Premella, A Sudha and others — are seen having their lunch in a turmeric field. When this correspondent tried to get their views, they said in anger “No one does anything, except asking questions.”
After a bit of convincing, they said that none of them were getting beedi workers’ pension. “We applied many times at the MeeSeva centre, but to no avail. We are now agriculture wage labourers and earning about Rs 300 per day,” they said.
Sudha said that her beedi worker pension was stopped as a survey mistakenly said that she “owned” a piece of land. “There was some mistake, and I am forced to run around to get it corrected,” she says.
“Families of government employees are being provided welfare schemes meant for the poor, but I am deprived of my rightful pension. Where is justice,” she says. The women said that all of them had applied for, and failed to get 2BHK houses.