Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh), March 30 : Located about 90 kilometres from Lucknow, this tiny hamlet is in deep distress.
Almost overnight, the village and its residents have become the object of ridicule by outsiders and all because of its name - Korauna - that sounds similar to the deadly virus corona.
"Even our relatives joke about the similarity in the name and tell us that they will not visit Korauna.
If we tell any stranger where we live in, we are greeted with amused glances. One person who called on my phone -- apparently a wrong number -- said 'How are you still alive?' - when I told him that I was from Korauna," said Raju Tripathi, a local resident.
Korauna, incidentally, is the first halt of the 84-Kosi Parikrama -- a pilgrimage that is undertaken by thousands, a fortnight after the Holi festival every year.
"The name of the village has been existing for decades, but suddenly, we are being treated as pariah," said Gokul, a local farmer.
The village, located in the Misrikh tehsil, has a population of about 9,000 people and the village also has a government primary school and other amenities.
In fact, it is one of the better-developed villages in the state.
Gokul said that once the lockdown is lifted, the villagers will get together and request the government to change the name of the village.
"In any case, Korauna does not mean anything and the corona memory is going to live for long.
It is better to opt for a change of name rather than face barbs and ridicule in the coming years," he said.
Incidentally, Korauna is still protected from coronavirus.--IANS