As heavy rainfall lashed various parts of Andhra on Tuesday, a man from Kudumusare village in Chintapalli Mandal carried his six-month old daughter through deep water and walked five kilometers to the nearest health center. Pangi Satibabu, a thirty-year-old resident of Kumudsare was worried as his daughter’s fever had not subsided over the past few days. All roads that were connecting his village to other parts of the state were overflow due to the heavy rains over the last week.
In what seemed to be a real-life enactment of the scene from ‘Baahubali,’ Satibabu waded through shoulder-deep water and carried his daughter to safety. The child is said to be out of danger. But all the villagers are suffering from this health care issues and education as 30 to 40 percent of the villages in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam do not have road connectivity. The situation is worse in these tribal areas.
According to 2011 census, the Visakhapatnam District has a population of 42,88,113. The Agency area consists of 17 mandals in total and constitutes 2400 tribal villages. According to the protocol, there should be one Primary Health Center for every 30,000 people. The Agency area is located in the Eastern Ghats, and is home to many tribal communities. 90% of the population in this area belongs to various tribal communities including particularly vulnerable groups.
Before the state can construct an elementary school or a health care center, it needs roads. Another thing to take into consideration is the distribution of population among these tribes. Each tribe will only have a very few households that are cluttered together. Unlike villages, where two or three small villages can share a panchayat, it takes at least 20-30 tribe settlements to form one common panchayat.
The death toll due to rain-related incidents in Visakhapatnam district rose to 10 on Tuesday. A Central team visited the state to assess the damage caused by the heavy showers even as the state government announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of those killed.