A village is Telangana, Peddakunta Thanda, is considered as a village of widows.
A killer highway in Telengana has a twisted bypass has made a close-knit community of 40 families into a village of widows. This bypass is responsible for killings men in families. Now the oldest surviving male in Peddakunta Thanda is all of six years of age.
During the construction of this bypass the reidents of Peddakunta Thanda demanded for a service road too that would provide them safe access to Nandigram, the panchayat headquarters 5km away. But this never happened and the series of accidents started from January 2006.
Till date, this bypass has claimed 80 lives-30 men from 30 men from Peddakunta, two men from Banda Kunta and the rest from other nearby villagers.
Nenavath Padama, a NH44 widow, said each week there were two or three accidents on the road.
39-year-old Korra Panni, after losing his husband in the accident was worried about her 2 children, so she admitted them to government hsoatels at at Kothur and Shadnagar. Her youngest child lives with her, but finding work is hard.” Panni’s husband was killed while crossing the road when he was returning from daily wage work at Shadnagar in August 2013.
Nenavath Rukya (52) has lost four men in her family to the road and is now nearly bedridden with an illness. Her three sons — Korra Malllesh (26), Korra Shankar (21) and Korra Ravi (18) — were killed when an unidentified vehicle hit them men and made its escape. Six months later, her son-in-law was killed at the same spot on the road.
She said-“This has to be a curse from the Gods. What else can explain that every man in the village has been taken away from us? What sin have we committed?”
Due to lesser number of mails in the village, the village is exposed to another threat. Strangers from neighboring villages knock the doors of widows; most of those are between 20 to 38 years of age.
Another victim Rukya was also grieving for her sons; her daughter-in-law was the fall of sexual advantage taken by nearby men. “To protect them from these men, I had to force them to return to their parents,” Rukya said.
At least six houses in Peddakunta Thanda have remained locked for some time now, after the survivors decided to leave. Villagers have no idea where they have been these days
With the government deciding to provide pensions, most of the NH44 widows make a monthly trek to Nandigam. And to do that, they have to cross the bypass twice: once on their way to collect their pensions and then to return home.