Despite 66 years of independence, the status of Dalits in Indian society has not improved. The behavior of non-dalit communities with the poor-dalit residents is still not friendlyin many parts of the country. Here's the story of some villages in Bihar's Samastipur district where basic facilities like road, water, light and healthcare are still a dream.
A group of 20 dalits comprising of men, women and children from the villages like Madhopur, Dharampur and Jamnabarahil recently visited Patna
to meet state's chief minister Nitish Kumar
. One year old girl baby Kalpana was the youngest member the team.
The group member Kunkun Paswan was deaf and dumb. All male members were daily wage labours. They use to work in landlords' fields and earning some 100 rupees per day. Mintu Paswan, a seventh grade pass, was the only educated young man in the group.
These people were also present at a Public Consultaion Programme organised by Bihar
Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (BUIDCO) in Patna. At this programme only these people shared their problems with this citizen journalist
Dalit girls and women members of the team were looking more interested to participate in income generation programmes to earn a livelihood for themselves. They wanted the government to introduce some special women employment programmes to make dalit women economically empowered.
According to the members of the team there are irregularities in the distribution of BPL cards in their villages. They claimed that many dalit residents are not there in the list of BPL card holders.
They said that there was not a single community hall in their villages where they can organise marriage functions of their girls. They said that due to lack of irrigation facility their crops were geeting destroyed.
“Our crops are dyeing due to less rain and drought and crisis of water for irrigation in village Dharampur. We bring water from the high caste landlord’s wells or hand pumps after making several requests. The incidents of quarrels for potable water is very common. We want some suitable work for our survival in this society,” said Kanti Devi to this citizen journalist.
“ Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is doing good work for the development of Bihar. He should also provide us essential basic facilities like road,water,light,education and a better healthcare.” He must solve our basic problems, she added.
“There is no well or or any handpump for us to drink water from. There is no sewage for the proper flow of dirty domestic water. I earn only Rs 100 per day after working in the fields of land lords. For the survival of our family and on the occasion of marriages or festivals, we have to take debt from the money lenders at the rate Rs 5 per hundred per month as interest,” said Feku Paswan.
Kanti Devi, Anita Devi, Urmila Devi, Bhola Paswan, Radha Devi, Chanda Devi, Mamtiya Devi, Shanti Devi, Guyli Devi, Kajal, Pintu Paswan, Nagau Paswan, Fekan Paswan, Asramu Ram, Mintu Paswan and Chhotu Paswan also shared their share problems with this citizen journalist.