NAWADA: About 80 per cent of the residents of Kachhariadih village in Rajouli sub-division of Nawada district, mostly dalits, are disabled due to the excessive presence of fluoride in their drinking water.
People suffering from humps on their backs or lameness are a common sight in the village.
“The present level of fluoride in drinking water is 8.5 per cent, which is much higher than the normal,” said an expert.
A limping Budhan said, “Yahan ka har ek ghar prabhaavit hai. Itne dino ke baad bhi sarkaar ne kuchh nahin kiya. Khaali vote ke liye netaaji aate hain (Every family is affected here. The government has done nothing for us even after so many years. Leaders come here only to seek votes).”
The district administration is yet to take steps for improving the condition of the villagers. A young man, Mukesh Vidyarthi, said this is the worst-affected village in the district.
The government is yet to prepare a plan for solving the problem though some paper work had been initiated in the past. No special scheme has so far been launched for the rehabilitation of the disabled villagers, he added.
In a significant development, Nawada DM Wassimuddin Ahmad Anjum visited the village recently along with a host of officials, including the SDO and the director of the regional development authority, and announced a package for the rehabilitation of the villagers.
The rehabilitation package includes construction of 70 houses under the Indira Aawaas Yojana, social security pension for 110 persons, establishment of an additional health sub-centre, electricity and other basic amenities near the Phulwaria dam where a water tank already exists.
Talking to TOI, the DM said, “Due to the excessive presence of fluoride in drinking water, every family as well as animal in the village is affected.
All 70 to 75 families will be accommodated at the proposed location. Several self-help groups will be formed, besides launching of other schemes for their uplift.
“The district administration claimed that all the departments concerned have been given the necessary directives, adding that the construction of houses for the villagers is to start on January 8 next year and the work will be completed as soon as possible.
But an aggrieved villager said, “Mujhe bishwaas nahin hota hai (I still have no faith that the work will be done).”