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With still no bridge on River Banas, development, health services yet a long time coming

Rajasthan/Sawai Madhopur— A long time, 75 years, has passed since the country became independent. We are celebrating “Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav” but one village panchayat in the district of Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, the Khidarpur Jadon Panchayat, located between the River Banas and dense forests, is still struggling for access. During the rainy season, the villagers have to cross the river by boat to go for treatment. Nor is there an easy path to take through the dense forest on the other side of the village. There is also the risk from wild animals. On the one hand, governments are celebrating “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” with claims of development having reached every village dhani [hamlet] Here, on the other hand, people living in villages and dhanis are still deprived of even the basic facilities. Politicians remember them only at the time of elections. After that, they look the other way.

Half a dozen dhanis, 1,900 voters

The Khidarpur JadonGram Panchayat, which is in the Khandar Assembly Constituency of Sawai Madhopur district, consists of the dhanis of Lundavani, Karadki, Maharo, Devpura, Bahpur and Talda Khet Dhani. Booth level officer Jagdish Singh Gurjar said that about 1,900 voters and their families reside in these villages and dhanis. All these dhanis are surrounded by the River Banason two sides. Also in one direction is the Tiger Reserve that extends to the adjoining border of Karauli district. Even here there is no easy access route and also there is the risk of wild animals.

Zakia Higher Secondary School, Khidarpur Jadon [Photo: Abdul Mahir, The Mooknayak]
Zakia Higher Secondary School, Khidarpur Jadon [Photo: Abdul Mahir, The Mooknayak]

Pregnant women’s difficulties worsen in monsoon season

Sarpanch Ramkanya Devi tells us, “Gram Panchayat Khidarpur Jadon has a government higher secondary school for education, but as regards health services, there is not even a sub-health centre. In the rainy season, when the Banas river waters rise, the village is cut off on all sides. In such a situation, when people fall sick, especially pregnant women, their lives can be at risk. Just four days ago, the life of a woman in labour pains was at risk. The local sarpanch, as their humanitarian duty, saved the life of the woman by getting her to a hospital on time.”

A woman with her newborn baby [Photo: Abdul Mahir, The Mooknayak]
A woman with her newborn baby [Photo: Abdul Mahir, The Mooknayak]

Crossing the river at midnight by boat

According to the local media, four days ago, Bharti, wife Prabhu Bairwa, a Dalit woman living in Khidarpur village, went into labour at 1 o’clock in night. There was neither a midwife nor any health worker available in the village who could have easily performed the delivery. No vehicle could leave from the village because of the high water level in the river. When the relatives told the sarpanch Ramkanya about the problem, the sarpanch, without any delays,took the labouring mother in her vehicle to the Banas river bank. But thena problem arose because the boat was moored on the other side. But no-one could go across the river in night. After that the sarpanch called the people of Talda village on the other side and asked for help. At 2 o’clock in night, a young man from Talda crossed the river in the boat to reach the other shore. Then the mother, after crossing the river by boat, was taken to the government hospital in Kundera. Sarpanch Ramkanya said, “Reaching the hospital in a time led to a safe delivery. The mother and child both are also healthy.

Accessing any public service is arduous

The residents of Gram Panchayat Khidarpur Jadon said that their panchayat committee headquarters is Khandar. Khandar is also their electoral assembly constituency. The [administrative] subdivision and tehsil office is also Khandar. After crossing Banas river, Khandar is at a distance of about 20-25km, but their local police station, Malarna Dungar, is 50 km away. Again, they have to cross the Banas river to get there. For revenue-related work they have to go to Khandar while for police-related work they have to go to Malarna Dungar. Even for going to the district headquarters, the Banas river has to be crossed. The elders of the village say that we have all nearly lived our lives. Ever since they have settled here, they have been demanding that a bridge should be built over the Banas river, but to date there no-one has paid attention.

These days, despite lacking an access road to the sub-division and district headquarters, the spirit of celebration for the Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav and the love for the tricolour still prevails. The school children have also taken out a tricolour rally here.

यहाँ हिन्दी में भी पढ़ें: राजस्थान: बनास नदी ग्रामीणों के लिए बनी चुनौती, स्वास्थ्य व्यवस्थाएं और विकास कोसों दूर

[Story Translated By Lotika Singha]

Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir has worked continuously as a reporter in Rajasthan Patrika since 2003. Presently Abdul Mahir is reporting for The Mooknayak from Rajasthan.

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