For Danasari Anasuya, the two time MLA in Telangana, walking ten or 20 km along hilly or forest trek is not difficult. Decades ago, she had walked the most difficult terrain and forests with a gun in hand, fighting against feudalism when she was a Maoist leader. But this time, the MLA is trekking the dangerous paths with rice, vegetables and grains to distribute to the people living in far off places in her Mulug constituency in telengana.
On May 14, she tweeted “walked almost 10 kilometres on hills to deliver ration for adivasi konda Reddis in chintalpadu village, East Godavari district”. Like this, she has stated in some of her tweets about the arduous walks that she undertook.
Soon after the pandemic struck the country, Seethakka, as she is fondly known, had been taking these difficult journeys, either in bullock carts or foot, to reach the numerous villages in the forested swatches of her constituency with supplies.
The MLA with her team starts the journey early morning and covers about six to seven villages a day. Till now she has covered more than 150 villages. The lock down has completely shut down many of the villages. The villages are far away and essential supplies have been cut. Many of the villagers not even aware of the shut down, the MLA said.
With no helping hand, Seethakka is everything for the people in these villages. She also know where food, medicine or any other thing is needed. She has also built a communication network, which helps her in knowing the needs of the villagers.
Seethakka also came out against Telangana government for not providing any assistance to the Adivasis. The MLA said that she had raised the issues related to coronavirus in the Telangana Assembly in March. However, she alleged that the government had not taken any initiative in addressing the issues. She also blamed the government for not taking serious note of the problems faced by the Adivasi community. Mulug was once a hot bed of Naxal activism. The adivasis in the area have favoured the Maoists.
Seethakka joined the Maoist movement at the age of 16 in 1988. She had earlier said that writings of Phoolan Devi along with the economic exploitation and casteist discrimination faced by the Adivasis at the hands of feudal landlords in the state had led her to Naxalism. She had always said that they were fighting against a system and not against any ruler.
It was in 2004 that she quit Naxal movement and surrendered before the police. She quit the movement after some ideological disputes and personal disagreements. Seethakka was a Maoist leader for about 15 years before joining active politics. She was first elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 2009 and then in 2018 to Telangana. She is now general secretary of the All India Mahila Congress. At present, Seethakka is pursuing her PhD from Osmania University.