Last month I made a trip to a village in east coast of Andhra Pradesh, which was still recuperating from the effects of the deadly cyclone Nilam. Driving to the village, I could see the destruction wrought by the cyclone first hand. There were fields of ruined paddy crop and farmers with stoic faces counting the losses. Speaking to some of the people there I learned that these farmers do not get any government help for their losses, they simply have to take a loan from banks or money lenders and hope that the crop for the next season comes good. The 'annadaata' though heartbroken seeing the loss of his crops still soldiers on and will break his back for the next crop. These people feed millions of people and are the true backbone of the country.
Next morning as I was walking around the village with my good friend Laxmi absorbing the soothing scenery, I comment on the lack of people and my friend informs me that once children complete their 10th standard and college they leave their village; the lure of the big city lights too strong to resist. Most of the young generation leave either for the 'Hitech city' Hyderabad or the nearby port city of Vishakapatnam.
|Village of Yedida.|
Next we come across the huts on the edge of a lake that are on the outskirts of the village. These huts are a stark reminder of caste system that is still deeply rooted in this village society; a dark side to an otherwise beautiful village.
Next, we paid a visit to a village school which is run by one of my relatives. Children wake up by 6 in the morning and will be present in their school by 7. There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing little children with bright faces carrying their books; children with hopes and dreams in their eyes.
As the morning progressed I expected some sort of morning rush, but there were only deserted streets with farmers already in their fields and their grown up children living their life in one of the big cities.
With stories to tell and camera full of images, we went back to our house for tea and breakfast.