Kerala Assembly polls | Not on poll rolls, no franchise for Chengara protesters
The well-laid street that winds down an interminable community of rubber plantations alongside Chengara abruptly offers solution to a rocky path in the previous few metres. At the tip of it stands the gateway to Ambedkar Memorial Model Village — location of one of many vital land struggles within the State.
The din and bustle of the back-to-back elections on this planet outdoors have made no distinction to the life inside. As the State queued up at polling stations on Tuesday, elders within the village, which falls within the Konni constituency, went about their work routine.
The remaining individuals spent the day in and round a constructing below development, which they think about as their library-cum-community corridor.
None of the 800-odd adults right here have been capable of train their franchise for the previous decade and a half — their makes an attempt to enrol themselves on the voters’ listing remaining unsuccessful.
“It seems India does not regard us as their citizens and we are not entitled to any of the rights the country has guaranteed to its people,” says T.R. Sasi, president of the Chengara Land Struggle Committee.
“Nearly 100 people had died and more than 200 children were born in the village over the past 12 years, but none of their names have been entered in the birth and death registers,” he says.
Despite repeated pleas to the federal government and directives from the State Human Rights Commission, Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, and State Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission, the individuals right here would not have ration playing cards, voter identification playing cards, and home quantity.
Life within the village has been depressing within the absence of fundamental requirements, together with water and energy. The street that passes via the center of this location stays unpaved and damaged.
“Life hit a rock bottom with the COVID-19 outbreak, which effectively prevented us from making ends meet with daily earnings. With little help from the government machinery, the families here survived by sharing whatever little things left with them,” says Biju, a resident right here.
As many as 300 landless households, below the aegis of the Sadhu Jana Vimochana Samyukta Vedi, encroached on almost 145 ha of the HML rubber plantation at Chengara below the duvet of night time on August 4, 2007 demanding 5 acres for farming and ₹50,000 in money in direction of preliminary farming bills for every household. They pitched tents on the occupied land, tapped latex from rubber bushes, and later turned to agriculture to eke out a residing.