A house deep inside the Kudremukh National Park with the nearest town 6 km away. A 22-year-old child who is an Endosulfan victim and needs constant help. A young daughter who had to trek 6 km to attend classes. A life that became even tougher with reduced job options. An unbuilt house outside the forest for which funds had dried up…
House warming ceremony in Vasanth Poojary's new house
It’s been over 6 months since Vasantha Poojari and family and his family left Kudremukh National Park. They have finally managed to move into their newly built house, and recently celebrated their new abode.
After having lived all their lives without barely any necessities, lack of basic health and education facilities, issues of crop loss due to wild pigs, and other human-wildlife conflict, they have come a long way.
Vasantha's newly constructed house
Now, the family happily resides outside the national park, and has never been happier with their state of affairs. They recently held a house warming ceremony to celebrate their twist of fate and new abode.
Access to basic necessities like electricity, water, transport and most importantly medical care for their son has transformed their day-to-day life. Owning some livestock, and generating income from areca nut manufacturing, honey processing and rolling bidis, the family is now able to sustain a comfortable life.
Livestock rearing provides the family a substantial income
One of the biggest hurdles for the family was access to medical care for their son who is an Endosulfan victim. Regular visits being the norm, the family found it extremely hard to pay a visit to the doctor. Vasanth now gushes about how convenient the hospital is, “We get autos right at our doorstep, the hospital is just 1.5kms away from our residence”. Their daughter too who has been attending tailoring classes has come a long way since and acing her class.
Vasantha's wife tending their differently-abled son
Daughter excelling tailoring class
Vasantha is very content with where life has led him, he says moving out has undeniable had the biggest positive impact on his life and his families. He is forever thankful to WCS-India for supporting his journey. Vasantha also added, “As someone who voluntarily relocated, I have advised everyone else who we lived within the park to move out too. It makes life so much easier.”
The person who made this possible is, Delhi-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Anju, who had offered a donation to WCS-India to be used for voluntary relocation of people earlier this year. Her support has not only changed the course of this family but has also helped protect a vital national park. WCS-India is forever grateful for her support, which has, in turn, helped us take our vision forward.
Vasantha Poojari, Proud homeowner
Written by Anisha Iyer