Jaideep Deogharia, TNN | May 18, 2012,

NOAMUNDI (SARANDA): Patras Nag is probably the most educated man in Cherwalor village in Saranda. A village that is non-existent on the government revenue map along with five other has not seen any form of administration since Independence. Having passed standard VIII, Nag runs a school here in which 78 children from the adjoining villages attend classes. Nag was picked up by security forces for interrogation when CRPF operations began in the area earlier this year. While he was terrorized, villagers were angry for their respectable teacher being harassed by the forces.

Apart from Cherwalor, five other villages like Kododih, Dharnadiri, Jumbaiburu, Belyatu (chingri) and Hojomdih are also non-existent on the administrative map. These villages are neither included in Noamundi block nor in Manoharpur. Consequently, the villagers are deprived of all possible government schemes and projects. The villagers do not have BPL or ration cards nor do they have the job card of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

None of them have been included on the voters’ list and no villager has ever exercised their franchise. To top it all, this time when Union rural development minister Jairam Rameshannounced the Saranda Action Plan, these six villages were once again left out.

The district administration asked Noamundi BDO Ajay Tirkey to conduct a survey of these villages and submit a report to the deputy commissioner. Talking to TOI, Tirkey admitted that the six villages in Saranda were non-existent till date. “A detailed survey report has been submitted to the DC and we expect these villages will be considered under the action plan,” he said.

Villagers in Jambaiburu have been provided with MGNREGA job cards. Interestingly, the state code, category code and registration number are mentioned there but not the district code, block code and panchayat code. Tupra Surin of Jambaiburu said, “My village comprises nearly 28 families and recently they have been enrolled for jobs under the MGNREGA. We are not sure whom to contact for a job because when we approached government officials of Noamundi, they told us that our village doesn’t come under their jurisdiction,” he added. The village doesn’t have a school or any facility for ration.

After Patras Nag of Cherwalor was picked up by security forces, the CRPF arranged outreach programmes to give away sewing machines and utensils to the villagers. Though the villagers accepted some of the gifts and dividends, later they boycotted such camps to express their anger. “My husband used to work in the mines and was never absent from duty. Once when he was grazing cattle, he was picked up by security forces and sent to jail,” said Gurbari Nag citing the reason for her decision to boycott the goods distribution camp of the CRPF in Thalkobad organized in February this year.