The tribals were miserable in the Manyam region, suffering exploitation from the Britishers in all ways possible. They were used as laborers, their lands taken over and their women folk were sexually exploited too. They led a harsh life dependent on Podu(Shifting cultivation) and selling forest produce, and the exploitation made it even worse for them. In collaboration with contractors, the tribals were made to work as coolies for building roads, and were not even paid for their services. The contractors would treat the tribals like slaves, making them work hard, not paying them, beating them up mercilessly. The tribals were made to carry the contractors from one place to another, their womenfolk were used sexually, it was a truly miserable existence for them. Sporadic revolts broke out in the Manyam region called Pithuri, one of them was at Lagarayi led by Verayya Dora, who was arrested at Rajavommangi.
Seeing the misery and exploitation, Alluri Seetarama Raju decided to stand along with the tribals, and fight for their rights. He bought awareness among them of their rights, infused courage and determination and motivated them to fight against the injustice meted out to them. The tribals in turn turned to him for guidance and advice,and he soon became a leader for the 30-40 odd tribal villages there. He made them give up their habit of toddy drinking, taught them in guerilla warfare and combat. The Gama brothers Gantam Dora and Mallu Dora, Kankipati Padalu, Aggiraju became some of his trusted lieutenants.
Read the full article by Sri Ratnakara Sadasyula here