Skip to main content

Gujarat's rural model? Water logged village, dilapidated school building, inedible grain for midday meal

By Our Representative
In a glaring instance of negligence of Gujarat’s rural areas, a local social worker from Surendranagar district of Gujarat has sought top state officials’ intervention regarding the entire approach road to village Dholi of Limdi taluka having been water-logged due to monsoon rains, with no way to drain it out for days together. In a letter he wrote to Limdi taluka mamlatdar, the revenue official responsible for the state of affairs, Natubhai Lakhabhai Parmar, also points towards how the school building of the village is unfit to study and the midday meal offered to children is of hopeless quality.
Written amidst efforts by a senior economist Ashok Gulati seeking to project rural Gujarat as a model for other Indian states to follow for agricultural growth, the social worker suggests there is nothing in the village which suggests how this growth in agriculture has in any way helped the villagers to improve their conditions, as claimed by many. Attached with Ahmedabad-based NGO Navsarjan Trust, the social worker has said, “The water is at least knee deep. People cannot more in or out even during emergency.”
Parmar, who has sent a copy of the letter to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel and the district collector, apart from senior officials concerned in Gandhinagar, Gujarat capital, has particularly pointed towards the state of affairs of the Dalit locality of the village, saying, “It has particularly become a victim, as the approach road, built with concrete, has caved in.” He adds, “The Dalit locality is situated in the corner, and is low lying, hence it is the worse sufferer because of the failure to drain out the water by the village panchayat.”
The village school
Parmar, who observed this during his field visit of the Bhal region, his main area of social work, said, “There is a real danger of outbreak of water borne diseases. In fact, you can already see mosquitoes breeding out there. Despite representation by the locals, nothing is being done to drain out the water which has gathered here. One is left wondering if the government is waiting for a dangerous outbreak of disease for this happen.” The village is part of Bhal, which is known to produce one of the finest varieties of organic wheat cultivated in a semi-arid region.
During the field trip, Parmar found that the school of the village is also in poor state. He said in the letter, in sharp contrast to the vast claims of the Gujarat government regarding massive improvement in educational infrastructure in the state’s rural areas, the school building is in a dilapidated state, and nothing is being done to reconstruct the building. Attaching photographs, the letter wants officials to urgently look into the plight of the village.  
Chickpea meant for midday meal in school
“This is the school which gave Gujarat three MLAs – Ranchchodbhai Mer, Laljibhai Mer and Vaghjibhai Chauhan”, Parmar said in his letter, adding, “It has been instrumental in producing engineers, doctors, teachers, government officials and army jawans. The compound wall may fall any any and a major accident may happen. There are only two options: Either the school, which as of today has 361 children up to class VIII, should be closed and converted into a memorial, or a new building should be constructed immediately.”
The type of midday meal offered to the school children is the third major concern observed by the social worker. He said in his letter, “The foodgrain cooked for the children are not fit for human beings. On opening one of the sacks containing chana (chickpeas), we witnessed that the grain is full of insects and uneatable. The government must intervene, withdraw this type of food, and take action against those responsible.”

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.