A visit to Jayapur, the adopted village of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, some 40 km from the city of Varanasi, speaks volumes about the effort being made by him and his associates in Varanasi to make this village into a model village.
The bump free road leading to the village welcomes you with huge posters of the PM highlighting his government’s schemes. Several bus shelters along the route had also been newly constructed for the convenience of the residents here. Once in the village, there is a newly constructed bus stand and a resting place adjacent to it along with a gateway that leads to the residential area of the village. According to the village pradhan, Narayan Patel who is overlooking the developmental work in the village said that under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Jayapur has got 530 bio-toilets installed, 135 solar powered streetlights; brick roads have been laid across the village; two solar power plants of 25 KW have also been installed, giving connection to almost 850 households free of cost. A girls’ school is being constructed for educating each and every girl child of the village. The village also has a bus stand, a post office and two banks along with two 24-hour ATM facilities. A Khadi Gramodyog and a centre for weaving have also been opened for women empowerment in the village.
But, in spite of these serious efforts, a handful of anti-socials have been trying to sabotage the developmental works being carried out. Several villagers complained of incidents of theft relating to the developmental work. Uma Shankar, a retired electrician, who was sitting at the bus shelter, alleged that “A few villagers are stealing everything, from solar panels to benches and even parts of some generators. A lot of money has come from the Centre to this village but the authorities here have siphoned off the money and have given us peanuts.” He added that they secretly belong to a political party hostile to the PM’s plans and determined to see them fail.
With less than two years into the adopted village, such indifference by a few has made the newly constructed bus shelter a place for gambling and tea shelter for the villagers. The locals allege that the state government authorities had stopped the bus service. Some villagers are also using some of the bio-toilets to store cow-dung or firewood. Bricks have been stolen from the roads.
Narayan Patel, the village head, who appreciated the efforts made by the PM to help the village, complained about the casual attitude of some of the villagers towards the efforts of development and their lack of cooperation. The influence of rival political parties could be discerned. These are eager to ensure that the PM’s bold scheme fails to take off. He said, “We have been making all efforts to make this one of the best villages, but some of the notorious elements in the village are stealing the things that we are installing. Recently, three pumps which used to supply water to several households have been stolen, batteries from the solar panels have also stolen Some of the benches installed around the village have also been stolen.”
Some residents complained of the lack of cleanliness in some parts of the village. Even though dustbins have been installed at several locations in the village, a few villagers still throw their trash on the road.
Hansraj Viswakarma, BJP’s Varanasi zilla president said that lack of cooperation from the state government has been one of the major reasons for the law and order situation in the village. The village pradhan supported his view, adding, “The attitude of the people of the village also needs to change, because the developmental work is being done for them. They should embrace it with joy.”
The village needs a school for students who want to study beyond Class 5. A healthcare facility centre also remains a major demand of the villagers. Narayan Patel, the village pradhan has sought the approval to set up a senior secondary school and college and is hopeful that this would be done soon.
“We have also given gas connections to about 30 households under the Ujaala scheme. We had opened a computer centre but that had to be closed because of some problem,” he added.
The Union Bank branch, which was opened in 2014 has done substantial work on the ground and every villager has an account here. They have also helped in sponsoring bio-toilets, solar lamps and have built a library for the villagers. But the branch manager, Prosenjit complained about some books being stolen from the library. He said, “We have started maintaining a log book because books were being misplaced. The locals here need to change their attitude to see real development.”