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CWG 2018: Rahul Venkat Ragala’s village hopes glitter of gold will shift spotlight from village’s dark past
Rahul Venkat Ragala hopes that his CWG gold makes the road easier for his village's fight to "regain" its "dignity".

  The Yerukulas of Stuartpuram are fighting a battle. And Venkat Rahul Ragala hopes to lead them in their struggle. For over a century, the tribe has been ostracised for its alleged involvement in dacoity and burglary as Stuartpuram, an hour away from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, was labeled the ‘village of criminals’. Stuartpuram may finally shake off that tag.
On Saturday, the 20-year-old weightlifter won India’s fourth gold medal at the Commonwealth Games by lifting a total of 338 kg — 151 kg in snatch and 187 in clean and jerk. “We grew up hearing stories about dacoits from the village, stealing gold or whatever came their way,” Ragala says. “Now someone from the same village has won a gold. I hope Stuartpuram is known for this, instead of being called a land of criminals.”



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