KODAD: Men in their prime youth need help of a stick to walk.
Children, who should be playing around, cannot even walk. Life is a punishment for the 3,400 villagers of Gondriala in Kodad mandal of the backward Nalgonda district.
The high-fluoride content in the drinking water has crippled most of them for life. More than the adverse effect of the fluoride, it is the attitude of people of other villages towards Kodad villagers which is demoralising them.
Over 200 youth who are eligible for marriage are being shunned by people of other villages.They are refusing to give their daughters in marriage to the Gondriala youth. And those who got married are being divorced.
Like the twentyfive-year-old Bavana Padma was deserted by her husband because she was crippled with fluorosis.
The poisoning by the contaminated water has caused irreparable damage to the teeth of everyone, including children.
Almost everyone in the village have yellowishbrown teeth. Some of them even have cavities and tooth decay.
A large number of men, women and children in the village have legs which are awkwardly bent.
Skeletal fluorosis has even crippled six-year-old children. Added to the fluoride problem, at least 180 men and women have been affected by filaria in the village which is 190 km away from Kodad. “We are doomed but at least the next generation in our village should be saved from the misery we are suffering from.
The government should provide us safe drinking water,” Vonkayalapati Narasiah, former sarpanch of the village makes a fervent plea.
It is a pathetic situation for children as the problem is affecting them since their birth. “It is difficult for me to
even walk. I feel sad when I see that I cannot play like others of my age,” 14-year-old Kamma Narayana said.
A four-year-old boy Basheer Babu already has bow-shaped legs and in a few years he may not be able to walk.
Forty-year-old Nellore Venkatiah, who has been walking with the support of stick for the last two years, cannot climb steps.
Pathetic is the condition of teenager Kotaiah as he falters at every step and cannot even walk a little distance. It has been like this since his childhood.
Gondriala villagers are sore with the government for turning a blind eye towards their plight.