Basava had intellectual disabilities, and was a well known face in Hadagali town near Ballari. The people of the town came together to bid farewell to him.

‘Huchcha’ Basya (mad Basya), a homeless man who passed away in Ballari
news Death Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 15:34

The residents of Hadagali town near Ballari district in Karnataka had a special bond with Basava, who was also known as ‘Huchcha’ Basya (mad Basya). The 45-year-old homeless man had psycho-social disabilities, and apparently insisted that people pay him only Re 1 as alms. So when the news of his death emerged on Sunday, November 14, thousands of residents converged at the town centre to bid him a final goodbye. 

It was a sight perhaps never seen before, and a touching one at that. Scores of people were part of the funeral procession. Many held up banners, condoling his death, paying tributes. His body was taken in a procession with music being played by a band on the arterial roads. Basya passed away two days after he had met with a tragic road accident. His final rites were conducted on Sunday.

Basya would usually sit at the Hoovina Hadagali bus stand. Nobody knew where he came from, but they knew he had been living with an intellectual disability. If people paid him alms, he would keep only Re 1, and would give back the excess change. Even if he was forced, he would not take more than Re 1. Basya would refer to everyone as ‘appaji,’ and had become a well-known face in the town. 

Last week, according to a TNIE report, Basya was injured in an accident after he was hit by a moving bus. He was taken to hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries three days later. TNIE reports that many organisations, local residents, and shopkeepers came together to pool in funds to hold his funeral procession and bid him adieu. Around 3,000 people are believed to have attended his funeral. 

"He used to come and ask for one rupee and he didn't take more than a rupee. He was a really good man and it is very sad that he died. My business used to be very good on the days he came. I hope his soul rests in peace,” a resident told a local news channel.

He was known to former Deputy Chief Minister late MP Prakash and former Minister Parameshwara Naik.

Watch visuals of the funeral procession here: