At this time, the roads were deserted. Once more, a silence befell us. With every passing moment, the day grew hotter. In parting shadows, amidst arecanut palms, loitered a troop of women. They disappeared before us. We imagined their downtrodden eyes looking for shelter beneath trees. There they stood, for minutes perhaps, hoping to catch […]Read more "‘Poverty is worst enemy of human rights…’"
“I cultivate sugarcane on 20 acres. For the past few years, I have barely managed to procure 80 tonnes of produce per harvest. I lost Rs 28,000 per acre and incurred Rs 560,000 in losses. I had to borrow Rs 900,000 from banks and was forced to shell out Rs 200,000 as interest. I struggled […]Read more "‘There’s no dignity left in farming anymore’"
“Sometimes, there’s a pattern to what we do. Sometimes, there isn’t. But life remains the same on the shores,” said Kumar as he stood outside his home. Swept away by a gust of wind, the dunes fell apart in a distance. Wreaths of gritty cloud swayed over town as the tides shot a baleful glance […]Read more "Day 37: ‘My brother was sentenced to three years in prison’"
As we traipsed through the sandy coastland, we could hear them again; the surge and fall of eternal rhythms echoing from a distance. The incantations grew louder and within moments we chanced upon women gliding on the shores with pots of beans on their heads. They were then split into two queues while the caretakers […]Read more "Day 36 (Final Part): ‘The shores unite us all in body and spirit’"
The next day we woke up early to continue our journey towards the eastern coast. We took a detour through the hills of Kodaikanal instead of the charted route. On our way, we asked some policemen patrolling the area for directions to Madurai. “Up ahead, you will see a yellow house with a red roof. […]Read more "Day 32: In search of unspoken tales of a ghost town…"
Crumbled pages fluttered in the light breeze amidst piles of books. Some sat forlorn, stacked on the shelf. Some were discarded. And, then there were those that once held records of importance. It didn’t matter now. For, they were all just gathering dust in the offices of a department that left no stone unturned to […]Read more "Day 30 (Final Part): We are all to be blamed for tribal downfall"
Sheen and Radhakrishnan visited us early in the morning. They suggested that we make a trip to the Attapadi Hills Area Development Society (AHADS) quarters since it has been instrumental in augmenting the lives of tribal families for years. Considered by the State Government to implement the Attapadi Wasteland Comprehensive Environmental Conservation Project, the society’s […]Read more "Day 30 (Part 1): ‘The first thing the government did was take away all the computers’"