Today’s interactions brought me a mix of joy and sadness.

Felt great to reunite with my brothers and sisters from the diverse tribes of Chamarajanagara in Karnataka – the Jenu Kurubas, the Betta Kurubas and the Sholigas.

The last time I met them, I had resolved to uplift them. I am proud that UPA’s policies, like the FRA & MGNREGA have helped them tremendously. But, we must move towards greater empowerment for these tribes. They understand the forests and the environment far better than us, and deserve a greater say in how we shape these ecological zones, which have been their home for centuries.

I also met the families of the 36 COVID victims who lost their lives due to non-availability of oxygen during the pandemic. It pained and angered me. A teary-eyed Pratiksha’s grief of losing her father and seeing her mother struggle to make ends meet, shattered me. It was one among the many such stories that I heard.

Arrogance and apathy have blinded the BJP govts at the Center and the State to the misery and helplessness people had to endure due to the mismanagement of the COVID pandemic by the Govt.

I heard and felt each one of their pain. The #BharatJodoYatra will raise their voices, and will fight to bring justice to them.

By Rahul Ghandi