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Only Statue, No Development, Say Locals At PM Modi's Adopted Village

30-Jun-2016 / 2:42 pm
Kerala Updates: VARANASI: A plush urban park with a statue of Bhim Rao Ambedkar: That's the biggest thing the Dalit settlement of Uttar Pradesh's Nagepur claim they have received from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The village, 10 km from Varanasi, is the second one adopted by the PM under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, launched in 2014. "Only this statue has come up, but nothing else. For instance, toilets have not been built in our locality at all," said Ram Raj, earlier a weaver of Banarasi sarees, now a farm-labourer. Elsewhere in the village, people enjoying the politics of it, insist there's a great difference even in the toilets built by the state government and the ones funded by the Prime Minister. The state has done some work in the same village after adopting it under the Lohia model village scheme.Under Lohia model village scheme, 40 homes and several toilets were built by the state government in this village. "These are not strong. What if someone sits and falls into the pit below? We wanted a brick structure, like the ones Akhilesh (chief minister Akhilesh Yadav) has built," said Niyasa Devi about of the plastic toilets funded by PM Modi. But the villagers of Nagepur are still fortunate. Under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, each of Parliament's 790 lawmakers is expected to develop 3 model villages by 2019 - which was expected to improve the lives of people in 2,370 villages. But while most of them adopted one village each, less than 100 have gone for a second. Even when they did, the results are questionable, villagers say. 45 km from Nagepur, in Chandauli's Jharkhor Kalan - the adopted village of BJP Parliamentarian Mahendra Nath Pandey -- there is no solar power, no toilets, not even proper drains, villagers say. "I went to see the PM's village myself. You can understand the attention there. But shouldn't our village also get something? Why the indifference?" said Surendra Pratap, a villager. For two years, he said, the lawmaker has not done anything. "That's not right." BJP sources said a proposal to install solar lights has already been passed and more work will happen soon. Sources say part of the problem about adopting a second village is getting funds for the developmental work. Even trickier is the fact that once one adopts a village, people in the neighbouring villagers demand to be adopted too
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