vote? Write your promises down
Pachpehra (Uttar Pradesh), April 15 (IANS) Politicians seeking
votes from this village will have to specify what development
they will carry out and promise to quit parliament if they
fail to implement at least one of the projects within a year.
The nearly 2,000 voters of Pachpehra in Mahoba district, 300
km from Lucknow, intend seeking the guarantees so that the
village gets the basic civic amenities the politicians have
been assuring for years. The village comes under the Hamirpur-Mahoba
parliamentary constituency that goes to the polls April 30.
"In the name of developmental schemes in our village,
politicians have been taking our votes. But this time we have
initiated this campaign so that politicians cannot exploit
us any more," Prithvi Yadav, a resident and member of
an NGO working for farmers in Bundelkhand, told IANS.
The villagers have prepared a form with columns specifying
the development projects the village needs. Politicians will
have to tick the schemes they will initiate if they win.
The candidates are to give a signed undertaking that they
would resign from parliament if they fail to undertake even
one of the schemes promised by them within a year of winning
"In the last two days we have circulated the form in
the entire village," Yadav added.
Villagers believe their novel campaign and "power of
votes" will force the politicians to undertake development
schemes in the village.
"The politicians will have no other option to get our
votes," said Sunil Kumar, owner of a grocery store in
Of the various problems Pachpehra village faces, shortage
of water - for drinking and farming - affects the residents
"Of the 30 hand pumps in the village, a majority do not
function. As a result there remain only six wells to cater
to the water needs of the over 3,500 people in the village,"
said Shivkumar Goswami, a farmer.
With agriculture being the main occupation in the drought-prone
village, farmers face a lot of problems due to water shortage.
"In 2007-08, as many as 52 farmers committed suicide
in the villages alone," said Yadav.
Power supply is another issue. The village gets electricity
only for 20-24 hours in a month.
"With no streetlights, the entire village is in darkness
at night," pointed out Ganga Prasad, a teacher at the
village primary school.
There is no primary health centre either. "For any medical
treatment, we have to travel nearly 65 km to reach a hospital,"
said Kariana Devi.
The villagers' initiative has been hailed by local legislator
Anil Kumar Ahirwal, who said it "reflects the village's
But the villagers should know that some development schemes
planned by legislators and MPs cannot be launched due to shortage
of funds, he added.
(Asit Srivastava can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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