The journey to Siddavva’s village was yet another beautiful outing for me. Siddavva lives in a small village named Bekkeri, located about 95 kilometres north of Belgaum, Karnataka. By the time we reached Bekkeri, the early morning breeze, drizzling rain, and beautiful fields had put me into high spirits. The streets were alive with children dressed in their school uniforms. I first met with Siddavva at a friend’s house. There were a few other women as well. We had hot tea, and the conversation flowed easily with smiles and a little laughter.
Siddavva took her Milaap loan to buy a buffalo and expand her cattle rearing business. She is able to sell buffalo milk to a local dairy for Rs. 25/liter. The quantity of milk obtained varies according to the food given to the buffalo. Nevertheless, her monthly income has increased by Rs. 3500 on an average, and she has already started repaying her loan.
Siddavva then took me to her house which they were rebuilding. She proudly showed me around everything. She lives with her daughter who is a teacher. When I asked her about her daughter, she said “Aap fir se Bekkeri aana usse milne ke liye aur fir hamare saath hi rukna (Come again to Bekkeri to meet her and stay with us then).”
Siddavva is a former Devadasi. She has single-handedly managed to overcome societal prejudices, provide good education to her daughter, and continues to strive for a better future. What is life without a few upheavals; those who do not deter from their path, no matter what, are the true embodiment of life's spirit. Siddavva Dodamani is one such woman.
Siddavva and her newly bought buffalo