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This Independence Day, a UP village refuses to celebrate

By Newsd
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This Independence Day, a UP village refuses to celebrate
Source: Techicy

The people of Choudhipur village in Mailani area, in Lakhimpur Kheri district, refused to celebrate Independence Day as they feel that no development has happened in their village even 70 years after Independence. The village lacks electricity, roads are in terrible shape and most houses don’t have toilets.

The village, among the neglected areas of the district, is struck by poverty. Most of its residents, from the backward castes, are dependent on the forest or on daily labour for their livelihood. According to TOI reports, Though the village settled in 1923, it was never included in development programmes by district authorities after Independence. There are only four toilets for 80 families that reside there, who continue to remain without electricity.

The village is also not safe as it is adjacent to the forest areas, inviting many wild animals at night. Children are prohibited to come out after dusk in fear of animals. Villagers said although they had raised the issue of electrification numerous times with officials, no action was ever taken.

“We lag behind in the most basic amenities that villages are supposed to have. We live in constant terror of attack by wild animals. Nobody wants to visit the village because of the terrible roads, and our women are still waiting for toilets from the government. A handful of families have solar-powered lights, but not everyone can buy them,” said Ghanshyam, a resident (who goes by his first name) talking to TOI.

Choudhipur pradhan Virendra Kumar said, “Electrification has been completed in 41 villages nearby that come under Bankeganj gram panchayat. Only we have been left out. We keep getting told that electricity will come here soon.”

“Choudhipur village has been selected under Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and electrification will be completed in the second phase,” said power department executive engineer Umesh Chandra Sonkar.

“If any officials remember us and turn up here on August 15 to ask why we are not celebrating with the rest of the country, we will tell them to take a look around and see how we live,” said Ram Swarup, a resident.


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