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Karnataka - Gulbarga Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

At home, among stray dogs

T.V. Sivanandan



NOT ALONE: Home, for her, is a water pipe

GULBARGA: She is middle-aged and homeless. She is dressed in rags and lives in an abandoned water pipe. She is also speech impaired.

However, she is large-hearted enough to share her humble home with stray dogs and bandicoots. Not only that, she gives them some of the crumbs of "food" she collects painstakingly from waste bins. The dogs have returned her gesture by being her faithful companions.

When someone approaches her she feels threatened and lets out a shrill cry. At the sight of any unwanted visitors, she makes gestures in an attempt to scare them away. Perhaps, she lives in perpetual fear of losing her home.

Shop owners in the area say she lived in a discarded bin near the Sharanabasaveshwar Temple here for many years. It was only recently that she started to live in the abandoned water pipe.

Shopkeepers are happy that she has never posed any problems to them and never come begging for food. Some people point out that thousands of pilgrims on their way to the temple must have seen the plight of the woman. But, apparently, it has moved none of them to take the initiative to place her in a home for destitute persons. The Gulbarga City Corporation has done precious little to lessen her suffering.

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