Once a gun-wielding Maoist, tribal MLA from Telangana gets PhD

Hyderabad, Oct 11 (IANS) From a gun-wielding Maoist to lawyer to a legislator and now PhD in political sciences, Danasari Anasuya’s life is full of struggles.
Seethakka, as the Congress leader and member of the Telangana Assembly, is popularly known, Tuesday took to Twitter to declare that she has completed the PhD from Osmania University.
The 50-year-old tribal MLA did her PhD in social exclusion and deprivation of migrant tribals of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh – a case study of Gotti Koya tribes in Warangal and Khammam district.
“In my childhood, I never thought I would be a Naxalite (Maoist), when I am Naxalite, I never thought I would be a lawyer, when I am lawyer, I never thought I would be MLA, when I am MLA I never thought I will pursue my PhD. Now you can call me Dr Anusuya Seethakka PhD in political science,” wrote Seethakka, MLA from Mulugu.
“Serving people & gaining knowledge is my habit. I will never stop doing it until my last breath,” she said.
She thanked her PhD guide Prof. T Tirupathi Rao, former Vice Chancellor of Osmania University, HOD Prof Musalaia, Prof Ashok Naidu, and Prof Chandru Nayak.
Congratulations poured in for Seethakka on her achievement. Leaders of Congress and people from different walks of life congratulated her and expressed their best wishes for her future endeavors.
Party’s central leader and incharge of party affairs in Telangana Manickam Tagore, state Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy, and senior leader Madhu Goud Yaskhi were among those who congratulated her.
Belonging to the Koya tribe, Seethakka had joined Maoist movement at an early age and was heading an armed squad active in the same tribal belt. She participated in many gunfights with the police and lost her husband and brother in encounters.
Disillusioned with the movement, she surrendered to the police under a general amnesty plan in 1994. With this, life took a new turn for Seethakka, who pursued her studies and secured a law degree. She also practised as an advocate at a court in Warangal.
She later joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and contested from Mulug in 2004 elections. However, facing a Congress wave, she finished runner-up. However, in 2009, she won the election from the same constituency.
She finished third in 2014 polls and in 2017, quit the TDP to join Congress. She made a strong comeback in 2018 by wresting the seat despite the statewide sweep by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Seethakka hit the headlines with her humanitarian work in remote villages in her constituency during Covid-19 pandemic.
Carrying a load of essentials on her shoulders, she walked through the forests, rocky terrain and crossed rivulets to help the needy during the ongoing lockdown.
Having operated in the same forest as a gun-wielding Maoist rebel in the late 1980s and early 1990s, she was not unfamiliar with the terrain. The only difference, in her own words, was that as a Maoist had a gun in her hand and during the pandemic she carried food and other essential commodities.

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