Burlavaripalem Andhra Pradesh, India

About 200 miles north of Chennai (Madras) mid-way up the East coast of India.

Village


Village statistics

Village size 25 acres; inhabited area 15 acres – remainder fields.
5 km from the sea
5 km from Chirala
A metalled road (full of ‘standard’ Indian potholes) reaches the centre of the village – thereafter all paths are soft sand.
The village was flooded in 2006 after a cyclone to a depth of 18 inches
Population - 1,000
Families - 300
Children - 8-14 166
Elderly >60     50

Village Administration

Head man – Abraham – elected by 18+ for 5 year term – supporter of the Congress party. Also Vice-president of the local group of 13 villages – the next administrative level.
6-8 elected Elders; they have some powers of control, they can impose sanctions / fines on villagers – principal role seems to be to administer government grants.
Has 2 sons, one (17) at engineering college, one (15) at school; one daughter (13) at school

Education

Village Primary school – children taught in Telagu – Government provided.
Chirala, population 150,000 has many secondary schools & colleges.

Employment

Occupations – 7-8 work for the local tobacco company (ILTD) and earn £13-£17 / week
Otherwise they may be seasonal labourers in the fields earning £1.00 per day. (For rice there are two crops per year.)
Some farm the local fields; some women work in the salad / spice plants either their own or as employees.

Food

Basic food is rice and vegetables.
Cooking – a few can afford calor gas (£5 / cylinder) everyone else cooks in metal cooking pots outside their home on a small fire surrounded with brick using sawdust and palm leaves etc as fuel.

Power

Electricity – all houses have 1 or 2 light bulbs – pay £1.  The government provides street lighting.

Village 2

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