KACHARIYA DIH (Nawada): This nondescript Mahadalit-dominated village of about 2000 families curses its fate. It is badly hit by high fluoride content in underground water. As a result, every third resident of the village, including children, is suffering from physical deformity. No wonder, the village is commonly known as ‘viklango kaa gaon (village of the handicapped)’.
The village falls under the Rajauli reserved assembly constituency, barely 151km from Patna. Though it’s poll time, ironically, nobody is talking about the problem.
“No politician bothers to come here to assess our problems,” says Basant Rajbanshi, a landless mahadalit.
The village is completely neglected by politicians of all hues. There is no sign of implementation of the state government’s much-publicized dalit-centric schemes in this poverty-stricken village.
RJD’s Prakash Veer is trying his luck from the Rajauli seat once again. He had unsuccessfully contested the last assembly election, His main rival is BJP’s Arjun Ram, district board member, who is trying his luck after the saffron party denied ticket to sitting MLA Kanhaiya Razwar.
Interestingly, Razwar is a mahadalit, the community which holds the key to decide the fate of any candidate in this constituency. There are nearly 35,000 Razwars in this constituency and an equal number of ‘Paasis’, another mahadalit community. RJD’S nominee Veer is himself a Paasi, trying to cash in on the failure of BJP’S inaction during the last one decade.
“The sitting MLA has done nothing during the last one decade. Resentment prevails over his inaction among the voters,” Veer told TOI. “There are no Indira Awas, no toilets in the village,” a group of village women told TOI during a visit. A villager said nothing has changed despite coverage of this village’s problems in the media. “In fact, our condition has gone from bad to worse,” said another resident, Dilip Rajbanshi.
All the hand pumps in the panchayat have been shut down because of high content of fluoride in water.
The only source of survival is water from the tank which has been put up. Local residents were also critical about the supply of bad quality food in a nearby middle school at Hardiya.
“I had a fight with schoolteachers on several occasions for giving bad quality food to our children,” said Basant Rajbanshi.
“Till date, none of the politicians has visited us. They are shying away because we are ready to ask them about our problems,” said a villager.