Anguished over the “continued neglect” of their demands, Narikurava families at the Devarayaneri Narikurava Colony in the outskirts of the city cast their votes reluctantly on Thursday. The families, most of them eking out a livelihood by selling hand-made trinkets, were sore that their colony did not have a bus halt and lacked basic amenities despite several representations to elected representatives over the years.
The colony with about 300 families lacks in basic amenities such as proper lighting and drinking water supply, they alleged beseeching a group of visiting media persons to highlight their plight. A majority of the 848 voters in the polling station in the colony had not cast their votes till noon. Many said they were reluctant to go to the polling booth; but most of them turned up to vote by afternoon.
“A bus halt in front of our colony is our main demand. The Devarayaneri bus halt is situated about a km away from our colony though there were very few families living out there,” J.Lazar, a youth of the colony, said.
“Children and women suffer the most due to the absence of a bus halt, especially during nights. Even pregnant women have to walk the distance to board buses to go to hospitals,” said Ambika, one of the colony residents. “Very often we face slurs from the bus crew if we ask them to halt in front of the colony,” Lazar added. One of the very few youths to have access to education, Lazar, who is pursuing a course on multimedia after having passed SSLC, said that children of the colony also do not have access to proper education.
A nearby government school is only for elementary students and quality of education is poor there, he said. A few women also expressed disappointment that political parties did not give them money to vote this time around.