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Despite her daring protest, cellphone tower stays in Addagutta basti

women climb up a mobile tower in Addagutta area of Hyderabad to mark protest over installation of the same.
HYDERABAD: A fortnight and a high octane drama later, the cellphone tower still stands tall at the Addagutta basti in Secunderabad. While the house owner refuses to remove it, the residents stand resolute against its functioning.
It was on May 18 when a 30-year-old Sudha, along with another woman, climbed atop this very cellphone tower demanding its immediate removal. The sit-in protest that lasted nearly 10 hours ended only when local MLA Padmarao Goud assured the tower's removal.
Remembering the turn of events on that day, Sudha says, “We were informed that power connection to the tower was being given. After feeding my son and putting him to sleep, we went to Satyanarayana’s terrace. It was when in a fit of rage I climbed up to cut the wires that all of this started. People told me to sit there itself till our demands were met.”
However, Satyanarayana, who has installed the tower atop his terrace, has a different story to say. “Everyone in the basti uses a cellphone. If I am installing a tower for everyone’s benefit, why should people protest. The whole conspiracy is to extort money from me,” says an angry Satyanarayana.
Firm on her demand, she refuses to give up
Determined is one word that best defines Sudha. Be it a sit-in protest several feet above the ground atop a cellphone tower or doing trips on an auto-rickshaw between Secunderabad and Hitec city, Sudha has been there, done that. Sudha is the only woman in her locality to own and run an auto. For two years she had ferried passengers to and from Hitec city and had to give up once she became a mother for the third time.  Firm on her demands, Sudha hasn’t given up yet. “The tower was installed in a matter of hours. Why such long delay in its removal now? We cannot allow it to be operational,” she says, sitting outside her home, pointing at the tower.

The New Indian Express

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