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Dalit ‘basti’ awaits power in PM Narendra Modi’s constituency

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VARANASI: Barely 12-kms from Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s adopted village Jayapur which has seen unprecedented development since its adoption last November, the Dalit dominated ‘basti’ (ghetto) of Tadiyapar in Bandepur gram panchayat is awaiting electricity even 68 years after country’s independence.

Modi had launched ambitious Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) in his parliamentary constituency on September 18. IPDS is one of the flagship programmes of the Union ministry of power and will be at the core attempt to ensure 24×7 power for all. But Tadiyapar, home to around 400 people of Dalit community in Kashi Vidyapith block of the district, has been devoid of its benefits also.

Similar is the condition of other basic facilities like toilets and water supply in the ghetto.

“We spend evenings and nights in darkness. We don’t even have basic water and toilet facilities,” lamented an elderly Kalawati Devi, who says she was fed up with the promises made by politicians during elections. That they have lost confidence in political system was reflected in recently held district panchayat election when they boycotted polling.

“We lost all hope and also confidence in leaders for their false promises. To express our disappointment we did not cast votes in the zila panchayat election,” said an angry Suhadur Prasad, one of the eldest natives of the ghetto. According to him, there are 150 voters in this ghetto.

Those who have mobile phones have to go to neighbouring villages for recharging batteries. Most of the children do not go to school as the nearest one is about 1.5km away, said Suhadur adding that there is only one government hand pump for them to meet the requirement of potable water.

Not only this, the sub-centre of primary health centre has also been without power supply since its inception about six years back. The Bandepur gram panchayat, about 10km from the city, comprises of seven ghettos with population of Dalits and Patels. The panchayat building is situated at Khushiyari.

Brajesh Kaushal, who looks after village affairs on behalf of his gram pradhan wife Rekha Kaushal, said: “The three ghettos of Tadiapar, Nayi Basti and Pal Basti have no power supply and efforts are on to make electricity available in these clusters.”

Though electric supply is there in parts of the gram panchayat having a population of about 5,000, majority of them have been living without power. “About 70% population of the gram panchayat lives in darkness as power supply is available mainly in roadside areas,” said Sanjay Kumar Verma, a native of Khushiyari.

“We met the managing director of Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigimam Limited (PVVNL) Ajay Kumar Singh and requested for early power supply,” said Divyanshu Upadhyaya, a student of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith (MGKV) and volunteer of Hope Welfare Trust formed by the students of MGKV, Banaras Hindu University, UP College and other institutions.

The Trust adopted the village in August. Since them the volunteers have been frequenting the village to support them in battling hardships. PVVNL spokesperson Rakesh Sinha told TOI that the MD has assured the HOPE volunteers that power supply would be made available soon. “The things are in process,” said Sinha.

In the meantime, the HOPE volunteers have also given a proposal to the Union Bank requesting installation of three units of solar light in the village. “We have received their proposal, and it is in process,” said bank official Yogendra Singh.

The PM’s adopted Jayapur village, about 12km from Bandepur, has witnessed lots of development in last one year after its adoption on November 7, 2014.

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Comment (1)

  1. Most people don’t know the TRUTH that Ambedkar DEMANDED Separate Country/Independence to Muslim/Sikh/Christian/Parsi/Buddhist/Jain/Untouchable/Dalit communities in 2nd Round Table Conference; Google “Communal Award”

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