Geeta, Jind : Even as the BJP government enjoys popular support in the state of Haryana, the Valmiki community of Udaipur village of Uchana assembly constituency in Jind district of Haryana talks about their problems and how they have remained ignored and unsolved for years.
A member of the community, Ramfal talked about the promises made to them by candidates during elections over the years and how they are yet to be fulfilled. Ramfal says their demands are very basic; employment and two meals a day and that the government has failed to provide for these basic demands. The community is mostly involved in work as daily wage laborers in agriculture and work is thus seasonal. He asserts that the 100 day employment guarantee provided by the government under the NREGA scheme only exists on paper and even people who have worked under the scheme are not paid their wages. Palpal, an elderly woman from the community reiterates that basic needs of employment and water availability have not been fulfilled. She says that there’s no-one to listen to poor people’s demands after the elections are done.
Dharamveer from the community talks about the kind of politics played on the Dalit vote. They have been voting for a family of politicians for generations but there has been no development or change ever. He says the government is inherently good but politicians are not working. There are plans and policies but nothing gets realized on ground; colonies were planned but no work has started on them. Water availability, electricity, and toilets have been long standing issues. Even as the Prime Minister commended the government for working against open defecation in Haryana, Mamta, another member of the community says that none of that has happened here in Udaipur. She talks about the safety concerns because of the lack of toilets, owing to which women have to go out in the open to relieve themselves. Another community member, Shamsher talks about the need for modern education, water, roadways, and sewage and drainage facilities.
Saneep Kumar, a youth from the village says that they’re now looking for change; just showing up during elections and making false promises to gather votes, trying to influence the entire community by taking one member on their party’s side wouldn’t work anymore. The citizens are now aware, they know their rights and they want real change.
Written By- Lokesh Kumar