This is part 1 of the three-part series of ground reports from villages in PM Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, by NewsClick.
Jayapur: As the temperature crossed the 44 degree Celsius mark, the NewsClick team reached the much-hyped Jayapur village via Chandpur, a village adjacent to the village adopted by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While entering Chandpur, what caught our attention was a young boy cutting wood with an axe, perhaps to be used in a chulha (clay stove). It was Abhay Kumar (18), one of the toppers who had scored 72% in class XII a couple of years ago. He is now pursuing a fitter trade course from one of the Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) nearby.
Kumar, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste, said, “I wanted to become an agricultural scientist and I still want to do it. I had taken the admission, but was asked to discontinue because we failed in submitting the fee. So, I am now doing the ITI course.”
“With everybody focussing on Jayapur, why would anyone care to visit a village which has kachcha roads, open defecation and scarcity of drinking water?” asks Kumar.
Jayapur village, located about 24 kilometres Northeast of the district headquarters, gives an impression of a ‘model village’ at a first glimpse. But after entering the village, we found out that not everything that glitters is gold.
The village had a clean bus stop, ATMs, a post office and branch offices of a few national banks, but people are not happy with the attitude of the government officials.
Sahnu Kumar, 37, a scrap trader told NewsClick that the government should consider making a separate helipad in the village especially for the mediapersons, as they keep coming very often, but show only the greener side.
“You want to show to the people that we have schools and roads and everything is fine. No doubt, it’s a big change, and we are glad for that. But what next? Where are the jobs? How do we earn?” questioned Sahnu.
However, Sahnu was immediately snubbed by the Gram Pradhan Shree Narayan Patel for speaking against Modi to which Sahnu replied, “Aayhe to Modin lekin kaame ke kari. Tohrou ladka to khariyare ghoomat ba. Chillave jin, ja ghare ja sutal jaike (Modi ji will come indeed, but what about maintaining the works done and who will give jobs? I know your son is also not doing anything. So, better go home and sleep.)”
Sahnu, on a concluding note, said that the administration should seriously think about establishing an industry near the village to provide employment opportunities to the youths of the villages, who are busy all day on their mobile phones due to unavailability of jobs.
Patel, 62, the village head told NewsClick, “Jayapur is a Krishipradhan (agriculture-based) village and youths of the village depend highly on agriculture. All our boys are educated and the younger ones go to the schools regularly. There are some young boys who even go to the cities for jobs. But I do not think that they are happy because of the underpayment. The underpayment will not be there for long, and Modi ji will take action against this. The youths prefer growing crops over jobs.”
Jayapur is a Patel-dominated village with a population of about 3,200 people, 2,600 of which are voters. The village has 40% of Patel votes (OBC), 25% Bhumihars, and the rest includes Scheduled Castes and others.
Meanwhile, Abhay, who, in absence of any work, accompanied the NewsClick team to Jayapur village, said that his father had stopped making carpets, and has dismantled his handloom. Abhay may now have to be the breadwinner for the family.
Cursing his fate for not being able to study agricultural science, Kumar says that the country would have got a person doing real work for them, but this is neither in country’s fate, nor in his fate.