Dharwad: A dead body of a 40-year-old woman was found floating in a lake in Moraba village of Dharwad. Very little did the local administration know that a sense of frenzy would grip the villagers after this incident.
Devamma (name changed) was found dead in the lake on November 28 and as soon as the news spread, the villagers came together, keeping forth a rather bizarre demand of flushing out the entire lake, which spanned over 32 acres! The argument was that the only source of water has been contaminated by Devamma's dead body, who was believed to be an HIV infected person!
A sense of fear gripped the village as they felt that the HIV positive Devamma's dead body would pollute the lake to the extent that the entire village would be infected by the condition. No amount of myth-busting by the health department could change their mind and the villagers started pumping the water out. The result is that a nearby government school was flooded.
Devamma was married to a man in the neighbouring village. She was abandoned by her husband when he came to know that she was HIV positive. What followed was a series of rejection from society. Even her mother refused to accept her back and she was ostracised to the worst possible level.
Ultimately, Devamma went missing on November 26 and her dead body was found in a decomposed state on November 28. The police suspect that she may have killed herself.
As the news of her death spread, the residents went to the gram panchayat and demanded that the lake's water be flushed out and replaced with new water from the Malaprabha Right Canal.
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