At the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation

There was a time when every Badaga household got their FRESH vegetables from their own holas [vegetable gardens next to their houses or a little away from the hatti [village].

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Be it Avare [beans], gaasu [potatos] or kadaley [peas] or the healthy Keerey Soppu. They were part of the daily menu. Ganji Godhumay [wheat] and baththa  were grown, harvested and made into flour so that Eragittu, Pothittu and baththa hittu could be made very often if not daily. There was no dearth of haalu [milk], majjigay [butter milk], mosaru [curd] and thuppa [clarified butter].

But now, all these seem to be a dream. The basic reason  could be the INVASION of the koda and kaadu emme [monkeys and bisons] which would not spare any thing green. The strict laws related to wild life and their implementation had become a big deterrent in growing vegetables. A family’s wealth was based on the Banda [cattle -number of buffalos and cows] owned. Tho and kottagay [large and individual cattle sheds] were part and parcel of a hatti.

Every Badaga family had atleast a small patch of thotta [tea estate] that would give an assured income. The steep fall in green leaf tea prices and steeper labour wages have made owning and maintaining the estate more of a burden and headache.

Now, everything is uncertain. Health and wealth have become big casualties.

Life in the Naakku Betta [the Nilgiris, the blue mountains] has really become very difficult. Badagas are at the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation.

Future is a big question mark now?? What can we do about it???

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One response to “At the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation

  1. EX HAV SIVAKUMAR.B

    I think, INVASION of the koda & kaadu emme and the strict laws related to wild life is not the ONLY reason. Main reason is INVASION of Bombaywalas and Bangaorewalas is the main reason.

    Let me say………….

    Firstly, our grandparents were not hunting koda and kaadu emme. That time also these animals are alive.

    Secondly, certain animals are ban for hunting during British time also(reference hunting license of my grand father issued by British authorities during 1936 in which Lion, Tiger and elephants, etc., are ban for hunting).

    We have to analyse why koda and kaadu emme are coming out of the forest. The only reason is DEFORESTATION. We, the badaga people are selling……no…..sorry……we have already sold almost Nilgiris to the Bombaywalas and Bangaorewalas. They are making buildings near the forests and making night party with full of light and sound musics and due to this these animals got puzzled and come to village areas. Also the local politicians are are making maximum efforts to smuggle the forest wealth (atleast firewood). as per their capacity.

    keeping in view of present prevailing scenario, I hope, after 50 years we, the badaga people cannot enter into our own village due to outsider fencing around our villages.

    What can we do about it???

    Now its toooo late to do anything. We have to wait with a great pain till Nilgiris face with a terrible natural disaster like happened in Uthrakhand. No other way, sorry sir.

    Ex-Hav Sivakumar B, Muckimalai

    Like

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