Bangalore: The very name of Mandya invokes passions given the long drawn dispute over Kaveri water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with the district being the epicenter. The stigma has stuck to Mandya and due to this several constructive and positive news from the district do not get the coverage they deserve. However, thanks to the selfless and thoughtful service of the RSS Swayamsevaks, Mandya is showing the way to address the concerns of some of the most marginalised communities.
As in all parts of the country, the lockdown imposed due to the threat of Corona virus infections have adversely affected many marginalised communities like the local Jan Jatis (tribes), those from the third gender and the migrants from other parts.
Food and Shelter for migrants from Tamil Nadu
Several migrants from Dharmavaram in Tamil Nadu working as casual labor in Mandya were stuck in a village near Maddur taluk in Mandya when the lockdown was announced. They had their families with women and children with them. As days went by and their rations depleted they were in the fear of going hungry. One of the laborers made a video about their condition and shared it on WhatsApp. As the video reached one of the Swayamsevaks, the members of local RSS Shakha jumped into action.
A team of Swayamsevaks immediately arranged the required food packets, ration and other essential items to last for several days and reached the village in Maddur where the migrant families were staying. The food packets and other items were distributed among the migrant families and their fears of being neglected were allayed by the Swayamsevaks. Since they did not have proper shelter too, the RSS Swayamsevaks have arranged temporary shelter for these families at Mikkere in Mallavalli Taluk in the district.
Speaking about the aid they received from the Swayamsevaks, the laborers said, "RSS workers have provided us with meals and shelter. We were also provided with all essentials to last for several days." The laborers have now found work in a nearby sugarcane field and are earning a livelihood and leading a respectable life.
Timely help to Third Gender
Another section usually forgotten is the members of the third gender. In Mandya too several members who are unable to venture out to earn a living during lockdown were struggling to make ends meet. They were also not getting the required medical aid to ensure that they are safe. They rued that many doctors whom they approached requested them not to come to the clinic as other patients could avoid taking their services. They were asked to come only at late in the night but due to the Corona virus threat they are not allowed in the clinics at all they say.
It was then that a team of RSS Swayamsevaks from Mandya reached the place where they were staying and arranged for their medical supplies, sanitisers, masks, food and ration. The Swayamsevaks also helped them with money to tide over the crisis.
"The RSS has helped us with all that we need and our concerns have been taken care of by them. They also provided us with masks, food, medicines and rations to last for several days", say the members of third gender.
It was after the RSS extended help to them, the Tehsildar and team visited them and arranged for further delivery of food and other items.
Relief to Hakki-Pikki Jan Jati
Hakki-Pikki Jan Jati are spread over several parts in the state and are today working as casual labors. There were several of the tribe in Mandya too. They live in temporary shelters and live a nomadic life. They have been without work and earnings since the lockdown was announced. None from the district administration had approached them and they were concerned about surviving the lockdown as they would not be able to relocate during lockdown.
The local RSS Bhag Karyakartas located the place where the Hakki-Pikki people were staying and provisioned food, essential items and rations to last for several days. The team led by Umesh Kumar, Mandya Jilla Pracharak ensured that the members concerns are addressed and all items were distributed among the families living here.
The members of the Hakki-Pikki Jan Jati have thanked the RSS for the timely help and say that they can live peacefully for many days.
The work of RSS Swayamsevaks has been well appreciated by people of Mandya including the district authorities. The district authorities have been informed of such similar needs and vulnerable population which needs help to which the authorities have responded positively. RSS Swayamsevaks are also engaged in distributing food and coconut water to pregnant women, patients, farmers who are in government hospitals and police who are patrolling in Mandya and other districts in Karnataka.