Day 97 | 18 April 2015 | Hiriyur to Burujanaroppa | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

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The walk was one of the longest on this day, having to cover 26 kilometers from Hiriyur to Burujanaroppa (about 5 kms from Hayamangala). Commencing the padayatra at 5.30 am, Walk of Hope reached Hayamangala by 12.30 pm, touching villages like Metikurke, Hosuru, Giddobanahally, Guilalu, Hayamangala andBujronrappa.

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Exiting Hiriyur, they reached Ganga Public School where a group of 20 people were waiting to welcome and greet Sri M. The yatris had a short break here and were served coffee and tea. An hour later, another group at Yaradakatte awaited Sri M. The Walk had another break at this point. The walker’s breakfast point was reached later than usual – 9.30 a.m. By then, they had walked 16 kilometers already. This was due to the fact that local people from Guilalu were to host breakfast. It was served in the grounds next to the Bhootappa Temple. Bhootappa is the gramadevata or village deity of Guilalu. The temple was a relatively small ten square foot structure, with a stone deity under a peepal tree by the side of the road. On Sri M’s arrival, the local people welcomed him and did a pada puja (ritualistic washing of feet). Once again, the day was a routine one and the road remained quite empty. Traffic was very sparse as there was a state wide strike going on. There was nothing but the open highway stretching as far as one could see. Buses make up most of the traffic in Hiriyur, a town at the crossroads of major highways. As they passed a few villages in the morning, people were still waking up or in the midst of their morning rituals. While exiting Hiriyur, the yatris went past a huge garbage dumping ground. What a sad sight it was! Vast open tracts of land dumped with heaps of garbage from the big cities!! They walked past quickly as the stench was strong and followed them for a distance. Another interesting feature, which is generally a feature pan-India, is the ‘santhe’ or the local weekly market. People from nearby villages congregate at a chosen place every week to buy and sell their goods. Here, it seemed to be a market exclusively for trading goats.Goats are the livelihood of the Yadava tribe. The Yadava tribes staying in these rural areas are solely dependent on rearing goats and products derived from them. One of the villages they passed through was Metikurke. Metikurke is a very small village with less than 2000 people. One of the family traces its lineage back to Kumara Vyasa, the great 15th century Kannada poet.  For the walkers, lessons through experience are being learnt every day. In odd ways people have come together during the walk. A toilet van travels with the walkers every day especially on the highway stretches, as toilets and water are hard to come by. It stops every few kilometers for the walker’s comfort. While facilities are provided, there is no person exclusively hired to clean the vehicle. It is also a fact that it has to be cleaned frequently and there is a special commotion whenever the van gets too dirty. Today too was no different ! Sri M stepped in and said that he would clean the van himself and also select some people for the task on a daily basis. He said, “If we do not keep our spaces clean, what is the example we are setting to others and how and what will they learn from us?” This set the walkers thinking and their perspective changed from that of expectation to responsibility. They agreed to come together in batches and clean the van. Walking on, the padayatris stopped in between for refreshments once before reaching Burujanaroppa. Arriving here just after noon, the padayatris were transported back to Ranjith lodge in Hiriyur. The rest of the day was spent in leisure as no evening program was scheduled for the day.

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