Robert Frost’s ‘Good fences make good neighbors’ line rings in faraway Rampa Agency

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Valmiki and Konda Reddi tribes in Rampa agency in East Godavari district wouldn’t have heard of 20th-century American poet Robert Frost, or his famous poem Mending Wall. But the line from it ‘Good fences make good neighbors’, is precisely what they are following, albeit ignorantly, in these lockdown times over the spread of COVID-19.

Four hamlets in Devipatnam and Rajavommangi in the Rampa agency on Wednesday erected fences along their borders with the neighboring villages, thus fully implementing the lockdown, and restricting the entry of visitors into their habitations.

The fenced four

The hamlets that adopted the fencing-method to keep stop the dreaded virus spread are Pothavaram, China Bheempalli and Lothupalem in Devipatnam mandal, and a Valmiki-tribal hamlet of Laagarayi in Rajavommangi mandal in East Godavari district.

So much so, Integrated Tribal Development Agency (Rampachodavaram) officials on Wednesday circulated a few photographs of these fences, where people from all walks of life were seen holding placards, appealing to neighbors and strangers to stop visiting their hamlets.

No visitors please

“Request to stop visiting our village in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 till April 14. We will not visit any neighboring village until the lockdown period is over,” read the placards.

The Villagers have erected the temporary fences using bamboo and other materials including tree branches. “More hamlets in the Rampa agency are likely to adopt this method in the coming days of the lockdown, given the success of this campaign by the tribals, Rampachodavaram Divisional Public Relations Officer V.V.Reddy told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, locals continue to allow government officials to enabe them to provide services, carry out the health survey and other communication.

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