In an age of mass rapid transport system in a smart city like Vizag, can you imagine people in the interior agency villages, still use the horses for their regular mode of transportation! Yes, you heard right. You will find one horse in front of every house at a time when we usually see bikes, scooters, or cars in villages, towns, and cities.
Here without having a horse means no life exists for the villagers. Horses became part and parcel of villager’s daily lives. This village follows the generations-old tradition of using horses for travel and agriculture due to lack of minimum basic facilities like roads and electricity.
In the tribal hamlet like Dayatri village in Ananatagiri Mandal in Vizag agency, you will find this ubiquitous presence of horses catering to the daily needs like carrying the weights of ration items from the nearby regions, taking the farm produce to near markets for selling, visiting the relative’s house, taking the sick persons to nearby hospitals at Dvarapalli and for agricultural works.
This village is home to 109 families with a total population of 480, all are ration cardholders. Here one horse caters to the needs of three families, totaling 70 horses fulfilling the daily needs of the village. Recently, villagers laid the road with their own funds.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Appa Rao, a local resident of Dayatri village, said villagers use the horses as a means of conveyance for purchasing food, medicines, agricultural needs and even for voting in the elections by traveling few kilometers. We purchase these horses for Rs.25,000 to Rs. 30,000 and we incur nearly Rs.2000 for the maintenance of these horses every month. “No road connectivity and no doctors come here. In case of medical emergencies for the horses, we give them medical aid. They are our family members and part and parcel of our life, added Appa Rao
Anand, a local said many inconsistencies exist here. Many nearby villagers bring the sick patients on a makeshift Doli (Palanquin) and from here they carry in the back of horses to nearby hospitals Mandal headquarters. Sudhakar Rao, a local villager, said even after getting independence after 75 years, we are still living in the darkness. Cell phone signals are very much there but for charging the phone no electricity is there. We need to travel 22 kilometers and charge our mobiles at Devarapalli.
S Ramesh, a ward member of Dayatri village said this is the only hamlet in the entire state is depending on the horses for a mode of travel. Of course, these are quite helpful during marriages and festivals for carrying goods and for transporting our relatives and guest from the road eight kilometers away.
K Govinda Rao, executive member of CPI (M) Visakhapatnam said as usual government made several proposals and promises for laying roads to the villages under MNREGS but no action was taken. Upon bringing the notice to ITDA by the Hello Vizag about the gravity of the village situation, a senior official said due to a funds crunch the situation remains the same. . After all, how much is too much to bear this kind of apathy from the government towards us.