This is part 2 of the three-part series of ground reports from villages in PM Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, by NewsClick.
Nagepur: Situated at a distance of about 10 kilometres from Jayapur, the Nagepur village is a big settlement of people coming from the weaver community. But unlike Jayapur, this village has not seen infrastructure development.
This village has electricity connections and water supply like Jayapur, but the condition of the roads is bad. Nagepur also has schools with smart classrooms where children can learn and study using projectors.
However, Binita Devi, who was fetching water from a common water source in the village, told NewsClick, “The village still does not have drainage facility and good roads.”
“Some people have stolen the electric bulbs from the street lights, and also the batteries from the solar lights have been taken away. And you can see for yourself how the toilets are being used here,” she said pointing to a toilet where wooden sticks were being stored.
One Sunil Kumar (26), who was playing cards – gambling – with some of the villagers, told NewsClick: “The crops have been harvested and there is no work at the brick kiln. The labour contractor is also not able to help with the daily wage jobs, as the sand mining from the river Ganges is not being done these days.”
Abhay Kumar, a youth from Chandpur, who accompanied the NewsClick team through these villages, said that gambling, illegal liquor and smoking ganja (weed) have become common in the nearby villages.
“Ever since the demonetisation, these men have stopped working and everyone has got an excuse for not working. The fact is that these men still are hoping for Rs 15 lakh promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Instead of going and finding work, men rely highly on the gram pradhan (village chief) to get daily wage jobs in the village and nearby areas. But the pradhan cannot provide jobs to everyone and there is some bias due to the caste factor also,” said Kumar.
Nagepur-based journalist Raj Kumar, 28, said that Nagepur village has not seen any development in comparison with the Jayapur. “It is also because it is situated away from the highway. The village has not been visited by any of the representatives of the prime minister, and only the private players like NGOs and others have done whatever they could to show the development in the village. Initially, after the announcement of Nagepur being adopted, a lot of people came here and did whatever they could. But with time, their interest faded away, and presently, no one here is left to see what work had been done or what is the condition of the work. The only industry that talks about the development in our village is media, but they also come here with the preset narratives and no one wants to do any sort of negative reporting,” he explained.
“The work done here could have also been done by the gram pradhan as he also gets funds for doing all such things. And what is the use of this development when you cannot even raise awareness against the open defecation?” questioned Raj.
"A new bride is everyone’s favourite, and such is the situation of our village. When it was adopted, then everyone from leaders to politicians had come, but what next? If not maintained, then the situation will worse," he added.
According to village headman Parad Rajbhar, who was dancing at a marriage procession in an inebriated condition, the village has got a lot ever since it was adopted by the Modi, but the villagers are not happy and may vote as per their caste as the PM has not visited them.
The gram pradhan was not in a condition to give statistics of the literacy rate, population and other important data.
Also read: Elections 2019: Behind the Glittery Façade of Jayapur