Village Stay:Bagetgeri

Kanchana and I were provided a name “Bagatgeri”.Little did we know the kind of place it is,it was expected to be a village and we were supposed to do a village stay and learn something.
A quick check at the Hubli Old Bus Stand gave indicators of a not so good transportation system. We managed to get on a bus and befriended an Anganwadi worker in the journey.
We had a brief sweet chat on reasons why people come to the city ,bus service is decent yet unsatisfactory buses are available at 8:30 9:50 11:00, 2:30, 4:30.There is also a bus from kadatgeri at 10:30 am
As we stepped inside the village the Anganwadi worker left us with a group of villagers with whom we could further talk while she was off for her work. In the village we saw small shops few being exclusively managed by women, a barber shop that looked as fancy as possible-this was set up with help from BAIF-A livelihood Intervention organisation that is greatly respected for its excellent work.
The social life in the village is not starkly different from other villages in India .There is a prevalence of Child Marriages. Women are married at about 16-17 years of , something that starts a chain of other social probems. Child Labour in the Farms and Brick Kilns is extensive.There is a underlying feeling of Caste distinctions though rarely displayed in day to day life. There is an open dowry system and no social stigma attached to it, rather it is a way of social prestige
The village has no Women headed Family and domestic violence under effect of Alchohol is common. Although they have been no big cases that needed interventions.
Few women whom we met, earn money out of sewing .Women as a whole did not give much importance to education, nobody knew who most educated woman in the village was.
Parents in this village do not see a reason why children should go to school and if they do go, the reasons to keep them in school is not well understood.Teachers have their own share of woes they felt that too much stress on reporting numbers by the government has made them clerical staff who punch in data on sheets instead of focusing on real reaching for which they were recruited .
The government puts the responsibility on teachers to put children to school .The teacher view this in a different manner they say that the onus is on all stake holders, they can show the way but the last decision is the parents.
The school in the village had no chairs and tables. This is a plight of students in most of the schools. I believe it would be worthwhile and dignified to provide this basic infrastructure.Cloths are distributed for children’s uniform once a year.
A discussion with the villagers propped up innovative ideas one that sticks out is “Ration cards being given only to parents who send children to school”
Apart from Agriculture people are involved in Labour, Laundry, Carpenter,Police,Teacher, there are 4 Graduates out of whom 2 outside village.10 studying for graduation. The richest person in the village has about 10-20 Acres.There are many brick kilns dotting the village where daily wages 60-70 way below standard.The Brick Kiln Parbhu Saukar Bahigari has 40 Male, 30 Women and 10-12 Children working Mainly due to rain the Brick making season is from Deepwali-Holi.Bosannapa Honealli is the biggest kiln established 3 years ago and has 20 people working ,the wage they pay is 75 Rs for Male and 50 Rs wage for Women.Akbar Baddegeras is the oldest brick kiln and is unique because its owner is not from the village.
The village extensively uses borewells for water and in times when there is no electricity the water supply is severely affected.
The nearest growth centre is Kalagatti.It has a Saturday Market where people trade their produce.
The village has no real government health care facilities .The nearest place to go would be kalagetti and Ganjigatti which has a PHC.The village has no Physically handicapped people,we found 2 people who are deaf/dumb ,There were no reported cataract cases.
Once a month health camp is organized in Mishrakoti .The women have to go to kalgatti for deliveryThere is about 3-4 monthly permanent contraception cases all being undergone by womenThe information on Abortion cases is not known. The main problem is that the prescribed drugs are not continued by patients. There is a need for education and counseling on the regular usage for Drugs.
The local PHC takes village water sample every month, since 2 months bagetgiri water is officially declared fit for drinking. Every Thursday from 8:00 to 10:00 an ENC clinic is organized where 8-10 people mostly women come each week.
Migrants who are employed as truck drivers and laborers in Mangalore and Goa are often victims of AIDS and put people in the village at risk. Care and Counseling can be a small way to combat this.
We found no cases of depression.In order to ensure children’s health checks the PHC visit the School once a year.Out of all Government schemes the ones that have maximum impact are the Janni surakhsha,madeli,Nrhm, Family welfare, Child immunization.The things that have not worked out too well are the Leprosy scheme,Tuberculosis,HIV
The region nearby has decent forest area the trees found are Teak Acacia, Eucalyptus, Nilgiri the Bandelgatti area there are bears. The area is C&D land. In order to plant more trees Village Forest Committee are established.
There are 18 Harijan houses 60-70 % Harijan children drop out after 8th or 9th class. They earn Less than 40 Rs per day working as laborers
The electricity scenario is a poor but the onus lies with both people and the government the Electricity bill subsidized heavily under the Bhagyajyoti scheme is still not being respected and paid by the village Harijans.
There is differential wages for working in different villages, a system that promotes more income for local folks rather than people outside village.
Adult education is there but has closed down because of interpersonal issues. The plight of education is mainly because lack of importance to educated partners in marriage. Education is not important as people themselves are not educated so they have no moral right to look for educated bride or bridegrooms. No girls in Harijan community move out for studying
A glimpse of hope is always there Manjunath a Harijan sparkled dreams of Eradication of Poverty and era of Education
Factual Details:
MLA-Santosh Lad-Congress
Hampa Naveru Female Health Worker Mob: 9901913359
Ashaque Ahmed PHC Coordinator Mob: 944 9109295
TG Manniar-MBBS

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