Martyrdom : 08-01-2005
Com. Lakshmi was born in a dalit family in Madduru village of Pamulapadu mandal of Kurnool district. She came from a poor family and with a background of extreme exploitation of the landlords of her village. Their parents educated her but as a dalit woman she could not escape the various kinds of discriminations in the society. She was a sensitive girl and many questions were rising in her mind about the inequalities in the society.
Her questioning nature led her to revolutionary politics while she was studying in Kurnool. Within a short period she decided that this was the path to end all kinds of exploitation and discrimination in the society. She began working in a women’s organization and mobilized the poor, dalit, exploited women as well as students and middle class women and women employees in various struggles in Kurnool town. She played a key role in establishing the women’s organization as a champion of the oppressed. She was an excellent singer and performer and created a strong impact on the people whenever she performed.
When she used to sing about the agony of mothers of martyrs, people used to be so moved that they wept. When she sang describing the Belli Lalitha, the people’s singer as a nightingale, it was as if she was also a nightingale singing. Such was the sweetness and expression in her voice. She had successfully conducted many cultural workshops of the women’s organization and trained many cultural activists. She gradually won the confidence of the cadres and was elected as a state EC member of the women’s federation she was working for. She was active in propagating that New Democratic Revolution was the solution to the problems women were facing.
She used to work very hard and carried on her activities even while doing tailoring work for her livelihood. The YSR government wanted to end the “Talks” process as soon as possible as it feared that the enormous influence of the revolutionary politics on the people would turn against it. So it caught Com. Lakshmi and tortured her to death on January 8th 2005 in Prakasam district and ended the ‘Talks’ process. It is still difficult for dalit women in our society to come out and participate in political activities.
It is really commendable that Lakshmi developed herself into a state leader in such a short time. She served as a model to many young girls in the slums who tried to emulate her. It is a big loss to the women’s movement also as it is still not so easy to find such dedicated leaders who serve the people without any selfishness in an atmosphere where most of the women organizations and so called leaders are taking funds and becoming corrupt or insincere.