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Karnataka: Octogenarian city municipal member lives in a make-shift hut

Vijayapura: In Sindagi, Vijayapur District, Karnataka, the harsh realities of life often go unnoticed amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday existence. Meet Mahadevi Bhimashya Naikodi, an octogenarian and a member of the Municipal Council representing Ward 23. Her story is one of struggle, resilience, and a poignant reflection of the challenges faced by many in similar circumstances.

Mahadevi Naikodi’s journey into municipal politics began when she was fielded as a candidate by her son, Mahantesh Naikodi. Despite her advanced age, Mahadevi worked tirelessly, canvassing and connecting with voters to secure victory in Ward 23 from the Congress party. However, her triumph at the polls did not translate into a life of ease and comfort.

Living in a makeshift hut, Mahadevi embodies the plight of many marginalized individuals in Sindagi. Without a stable source of income, she relies on sporadic wage labour to sustain herself. Some days bring work opportunities, while others leave her grappling with uncertainty and hunger. Her existence revolves around the bare essentials of life, where even a simple meal is considered a blessing akin to receiving divine prasada.

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Adding to Mahadevi’s challenges is the absence of support from her family. Despite having three sons, none of them remain by her side. One son has ventured to Maharashtra in search of livelihood, while another resides in a different town. Left alone in her twilight years, Mahadevi grapples with solitude and financial insecurity, relying solely on her resilience to navigate life’s hurdles.

Compounding her woes is the lack of assistance from municipal authorities. As a member of the municipality, Mahadevi expected to receive certain benefits, such as housing under the shelter scheme. However, her hopes were dashed when she realized that no provision had been made for her. Additionally, any honorarium she once received during municipal meetings has ceased since the previous year, exacerbating her financial woes.

Residents of Ward 23, like Eranna Meitri, empathize with Mahadevi’s plight and advocate for her cause. They highlight the need for the municipality to allocate housing to its members, especially those who champion the cause of the marginalized. Their voices echo the sentiment that no individual, regardless of their position, should be left to languish in destitution.

Speaking to Siasat.com on Friday, Gururaja Choukimath, the chief officer of Sindagi Municipality, has expressed his intention to address the matter. While acknowledging Mahadevi’s living conditions, he pledges to explore avenues for support and assistance, including discussions with the Sub-Divisional Officer of the district.

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