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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 read more

Live from the capital

first_imgSpectators cheer for India at the World Cup opening match between India and BangladeshWhen you can hear the neighbour’s cheers and fireworks on the streets, you know that the cricket fever is on. The ICC World Cup has taken the ‘eat, drink, breathe’ cricket mantra to just another level. “And why not?” says Pratik Luthra, a Delhi University post graduate student. “With India co-hosting the World Cup (with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), the big tournament is even bigger. I want to cheer loud and cheer along with others for our team. The ultimate high would be if India could win the World Cup.”Delhi’s restaurants and hotels are also game. Plenty of offers and entertainment being thrown in to ensure that you have a ball while you watch the pitch. Giant LCD screens, cricket-themed interiors and menus being some of the highlights.” It seems that everyone wants to ride the ongoing cricket frenzy. One is spoilt for choices of venues of hotels and bars to watch the cup action and party with a group of friends and family,” says cricket enthusiast and entrepreneur Bharat Sahni.Shangri-La’s Island Bar has been converted into a mini stadium. “The decor of the bar resembles a stadium with huge screens, historic World Cup images on the wall, miniature stadium lights lighting up the place and small flags of the participating nations on the tables,” says assistant manager Arpana Pradhan of Shangri-La, Eros Hotel.To please your palate while you watch the live action on big screens, the menu has been customised to make for a delicious World Cup experience. India Grill at Hilton Garden has a special menu worked up which includes cricketer’s favourites.”We have interesting names for the dishes too,” points out executive chef Avinash Handoo, India Grill. “Mahi’s Helicopter (fried prawns served with cocktail dip) priced at Rs 380 and Master Strokes named after Sachin’s favourite salt and pepper fish priced at Rs 325 are some of the star dishes.” Howzzat, a cricketthemed bar has special pricing going on its beer buckets and cocktails to draw the crowd.It’s not just the restaurant scene which is geared up for the big battle but fashion is playing its part too. Though that doesn’t mean you can wear the team India jersey to work. Fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore suggests the right elements of blue. “Denim jeans paired with a well-fitted blue lenin shirt for men and stylish blue kaftan tops for women,” he says.No doubt, ICC championship is going to be a big party. So join in the fun and let the game begin. Delhi’s fantastic fourVirendar Sehwag: Our natural boundary-hitter has done his homework and is prepared for the big battle. -Former cricketer Atul WassanGautam Gambhir: He’s a quality player, and captain material for the team. Gambhir and Sehwag bridges the gap between the senior players and India’s next generation of cricketers. -Sports commentator and presenter Gautam BhimaniAshish Nehra: He’s a wonderful person and a good team player. He’s not blessed with a great body but he doubles his efforts to make up for it. -Delhi cricketer Akash ChopraVirat Kohli: He represents the new age cricketer and is someone who has shown great potential even as a captain of the under-19 team. -Gautam BhimaniHot on the world cup menuIsland Bar: Shangri-La,Eros Hotel, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught PlaceIndia Grill: Hilton Garden Inn, SaketKeya: 122-124 DLF Promenade,Vasant KunjHowzaat: Galaxy Hotel, GurgaonBlues Cafe and Bar: N-12,Connaught PlaceBar Zen: Courtyard by Marriott, Plot No.27 B,Sector Road, GurgaonUrban Pind: N Block,GK-1, Kailash ColonyF bar and Lounge: Ashok Hotel, ChanakyapuriThe Metropolitan Hotel: Bangla Sahib Road, Connaught PlacePepper: Forte Grand,Akbar Bhawan, ChanakyapuriT.G.I. Friday’s: DLFPromenade,2nd floor,Vasant KunjCheer in styleICC World Cup tees, caps, and much more. From: Big Bazaar Price: Rs 199 onwards.Watch the game in style. From: Fossil Price: Rs 5,495-7,995.Headwraps for a chic cricket fan. From: Noise Price: Rs 299.Get your personalised team India t-shirt. From: Myntra.com Price: Rs 895.Spring summer collection inspired by cricket. From: Nike Price: 795 onwards.Accessorise you World Cup look. From: Satya Paul Price: Rs 1,495 onwards.advertisementlast_img read more