(Repeated from an earlier article)
I have been ‘dreaming’ of a new but ideal BADAGA HATTI built exclusively BY US & FOR US with the thoughts of those Badagas, living away from their hatti homes but whose hearts are always longing to have some connection with their ROOTS.
There are many big tea estates with vast areas of land that are for sale in the Nilgiris these days. Many of them originally belonged to Badagas.
Some of these are priced in the range of 4 to 5 lacs of Rupees per acre. So, for an area of 500 acres, the cost would be 25 Crores. It needs JUST 100 Badagas to join together and invest Rs.25 lacs each, that is 62,500 US Dollars, to buy one of these tea estates. Or 200 / 300 Badagas with proportionately reduced investment.
In that land, an ideal Badaga hatti can be built for a 2000 / 3000 families. Each dwelling, with all the modern facilities, but in a typical Badaga ‘Gode Mane’ ( Cluster of apartments) concept could be built for Rs.10 lacs. That is Rs.100/200/300 crores.
The investors will have the choice of bringing in ten of their friends/relatives, apart from recovering their initial investment, when all the apartments are sold.Depending on the area and other factors, the ‘New Hatti’ could be made to accommodate more families.
With a 10% margin of ‘profit’, the amount generated can be used for maintenance and upkeep of the NEW HATTI.
Every apartment owner would be a stock holder of this ‘Cooperative Concept’.
There will be only a HETHE GUDI (Suthu Kal). The ‘New Hatti’ will have its own school, play grounds, walking tracks and sports complex cum community hall. A nursing home that would be converted to a ‘super speciality hospital’ in future.
And of course, a shopping complex – preference being given to apartment owners to own the shops on a lease basis.
Importantly, it will have its own – ‘Duvay’ – grave yard and the departed would be given a funeral funded by the entire hatti (as it happens in every hatti now).
The remaining land would be used for cultivation of vegetables – ‘holas’ on a lease basis with enough area earmarked for an environment friendly forest.
A huge IT complex could be built with a tie up with a top IT company, thus providing jobs and security.
And…many more thoughts keep flooding my mind.
Martin Luther King’s famous words, ‘I too have a dream’ echos….Dr.APJ Kalam, ex- President of India said, ‘Unless we DREAM we can achieve nothing’
Calling all Badagas….WE TOO CAN DARE TO DREAM !!
My brother-in-law had these comments and questions:
“This is actually quite an interesting idea. I wonder what the legal ramifications are. As I understand it, non-Indian citizens are not allowed to own agricultural land. I suppose tea estate counts as agricultural land. I wonder if the corporate structure proposed here is a way to circumvent the non-citizen issue. I would assume ownership of stock in the corporation will come with benefits such as rights to live in the “Hatti” but without any ownership rights? Otherwise, what is to prevent individuals from selling “their” house to non-Badagas?
Any idea if he has progressed beyond “I have a dream”?”
With all due respect to your “BEAUTIFUL DREAM”, cant we start it in a micro level amounting to 20-50 houses with basic facilities, an independent compound in all cities/towns across the globe where in the badagars have already “settled” and give it a common name “onthe hatti”
It is really so nice to read this article and I can imagine the happiness we would have if this dream comes into reality . It is the first step that is slow ….