Wedding bells finally ring in newly-electrified Rajasthan village

first_imgWedding bells rang for 19-year-old Urmila in the nondescript Rajghat village of Rajasthan’s Dholpur district earlier this month, on the day the villagers cast their votes for Lok Sabha election, shortly after electricity reached the village. The small village with a population of 350 had been living in darkness since Independence.The village, which shares its name with Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat in Delhi, falls in the Chambal river basin region on the Rajashan-Madhya Pradesh border, which is a forest area. Because of the technical glitch of its location within the Municipal Council’s jurisdiction, the rural settlement was deprived of the benefits of schemes designed for panchayats.Electricity has arrived in Rajghat through a transformer installed by the State government after sustained efforts of a medical student and his friends, who have launched a campaign for improving the living conditions of villagers for the last four years with the help of donors and crowdfunding. The group also undertook a social media drive with hashtag #SaveRajghat.Urmila’s wedding took place after sunset on May 6 and a feast was given to the villagers and the baraat (marriage party), belonging to Agra district, for the first time in the midst of lights all around them. The poor villagers rejoiced at the ceremony, as the power discom officials promised to lay the lines to connect all the 39 households in the village with electricity supply.Crusader’s effortsSituated on the banks of Chambal river, barely five km away from Dholpur town, the small and dusty Rajghat village has no roads, water pipelines or basic medical facilities. The lone government primary school has only a few students. Ashwani Parashar, an MBBS student in Sawai Man Singh Government Medical College in Jaipur and a native of Dholpur, took up the task in 2015 along with his fellow students to provide basic amenities to the villagers.During the last four years, a kuchcha access road and community toilets were constructed, solar lamps supplied and reverse osmosis water filters installed with the help of donors. The power connection is the latest achievement of the group of students, who have also distributed utility items and clothes among the poor in the village.The villagers living in the vicinity of the river still have no access to clean drinking water. Urmila’s father Deendayal Nishad told The Hindu on Monday that the villagers bring polluted water directly from Chambal, where animal carcasses can be seen floating, and clean it with the help of filters. Though girls from Rajghat are married off to other places, the boys face difficulty in getting married, as no parents are willing to marry their daughters in the village because of its pathetic state. In May last year, when Pawan Kumar, 23, got married in Rajghat, the villagers were witnessing such a wedding after a gap of 22 years.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *