he Hakki Pikki community has been severely affected due to the lockdown, leaving them with no income. Around 150 Hakki-Pikki families, settled at Angadihalli in Belur taluk (Karnataka), have been struggling hard to get basic needs fulfilled.
Hakki Pikki Community
The Hakki Pikki are a semi-nomadic tribe who have travelled and lived in various parts of the country over the past few decades. As part of a ‘rehabilitation drive’ by the Government of Karnataka in the 1950s and ’60s, they were forced out of their forest dwellings and brought into the edges of cities like Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hassan etc. The actual rehabilitation though, remained on paper only.
In the fifties and sixties the then Welfare State of Mysore in the effort to settle this nomadic community and bring it into the mainstream created several agricultural colonies to rehabilitate the now estimated 15,000 Hakki Pikki families displaced from their nomadic way of life, particularly in districts around the southern part of the state, such as Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya, Ramanagara, upto the borders of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Also called the Shikaris or the hunters, they used to traditionally make a living through hunting and trapping birds in the forest and selling them along with lucky charms and trinkets in the villages and towns that they passed through. Many made a living by begging which was to them a way of life, not a symbol of degradation and misery. However their ways of life and livelihoods revolving around hunting and begging was gradually criminalised. The forests ceased to be a home they could walk into and out from and the cities failed to provide any secure alternatives.