Kodagu: Manjula, a 15-year-old star throw-ball player of her school and daughter of Somayya and Jayanthi, has been missing since August, ever since the relentless rain and landslides caused destruction in Kodagu recently.

Draped in a traditional Kodava saree, decked in her favourite earrings, necklaces and her deserved sports medals, Manjula’s parents, with a heavy heart, silently accompanied the statuette along with her family members and classmates in a procession on October 11. And the effigy was made in memory of the 15-year-old and buried on the same day in Jodupala.

Being a resident of Bettaturu, Manjula lived with her uncle – Basappa, aunt – Gauramma and their daughter Monisha in Jodupala. “Apart from being good at her studies, she was an ace throwball player and brought laurels to her school and district. To pursue her sporting passion and reduce her daily commute, she stayed with her uncle and aunt in Jodupala,” said the principal of her school, Ganapathy.

Kodagu was devastated when it was hit by heavy rains two months ago. The disaster had led to landslides defacing the region, on August 17 and Basappa’s house was also hit by the landslide and it basically engulfed their house. While rescuing, bodies of Basappa, Gauramma, and Monisha were found and identified by the officials, but Manjula’s was never to be found.

Several attempts were made to recuperate the Class 10 girl’s body by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and it was also brought to the attention of the legislator KG Bopaiah, who even requested the concerned authorities to look into it, but was all nugatory.

Since it has been almost 2 months with no trace of where her body is, Manjula’s parents decided to hold her funeral by making an effigy in memory of her. Sommayya and Jayanthi along with three other siblings of Manjula, their family, and friends, all took part in the procession. Somayya said that her only regret is she was unable to see her daughter in her final moments.