Legislator with a difference- Sukka Pagadaalu బుధవారం, ఏప్రి 15 2009 

Congress ex-MLA now a labourer

25 Mar 2009, G Arun Kumar & Siva G, TNN

Former Congress MLA Sukka Pagadaalu and her husband Sukka Dasu work at a construction site. (TOI Photo

Former Congress MLA Sukka Pagadaalu and her husband Sukka Dasu work at a construction site. (TOI Photo

SRIKAKULAM: She was a member of the AP Legislative Assembly representing the Congress from Patapatnam (SC) constituency between 1972-77. But that was then. Today, she is a daily wage labourer who earns Rs 60 per day to make both ends meet.

“We have a little land, but in the off-season, my husband and I have to work as labourers to make both ends meet. Life comes at a price these days,” rues the sprightly 64-year-old Sukka Pagadaalu as she lifts heaps of mud on her head at a construction site in her native Mukthapuram village in Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra Pradesh.

This is one of the most backward parts of the state, barely 5 kms from the Orissa border and an area infested with Maoists.

As an ex-legislator, Sukka gets a pension but that is not enough — the family having incurred heavy debts to marry three daughters. The dalit woman now lives in a thatched hut — that leaks during rainy season — unlike the plush pads and comfy, breezy environs that present-day legislators and public representatives are used to live in. (మరింత…)


Heroes of Elections 2009 – Mary Francis fights displacement సోమవారం, ఏప్రి 6 2009 

A housewife’s crusade

K.P.M. Basheer



PARTY: Independent




STATE: Kerala


MISSION STATEMENT: I want this antiquated, inhuman law [Land Acquisition Act of 1894] overhauled. I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way I have.


Mary Francis knows pretty well that hers is a losing battle. But the 60-year-old housewife is standing to draw attention to what she sees as a life-and-death issue for thousands of people from Nandigram to the Narmada Valley — displacement in the name of development. Ms. Francis understands their pain well.


In February last year, her home and the carpentry workshop run by her husband on a quarter of an acre property on the tiny emerald island of Moolampally in the Kochi backwaters were demolished. The bulldozers, sent out by the Ernakulam district administration, were making way for a road to the Vallarpadam project — a Rs. 3,000-crore international container transhipment terminal of the Cochin Port Trust being constructed by India Gateway Terminals Limited on a build-operate-transfer basis. (మరింత…)