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Villages to show the development way
- Janumdih hamlet gets first model gram sabha under Centre scheme for rebel-hit areas

Jamshedpur, Jan. 4: Fifty-year-old Gomdi Hansda, a resident of Janumdih hamlet, has only heard about government schemes. But now, he can actually reap the benefits of some.

Janumdih, along with 21 other villages, will be developed into model villages by the East Singhbhum district administration. These villages — two in each block of the district — will be groomed into perfect examples of development and welfare work under the Centre’s Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for backward and Naxalite-hit areas of the state.

Under the programme, the district administration conducted its first gram sabha at Janumdih village in Potka block today. About 200 villagers had gathered at the meeting to voice their problems, mainly related to lack of irrigation facilities, drinking water problems and poor livelihood options. District planning officer Ajay Kumar, along with other officials of various departments, were present at the sabha.

“Though MNREGS has been implemented here, we left work because we were not being paid in time. I hope this new project ends our misery as we ourselves are going to work on our problems.,” said Dipak Sardar, a 35-year-old villager of Janumdih.

“The idea is to cover all neglected areas. A model village will see implementation of all Central and state schemes. As of now, these schemes have been executed haphazardly, not to forget the large-scale corruption involved. As a result, the villagers have not benefited at all. But in model villages, the residents, who know the solutions to their problems, will be involved in the development process,” said Arun Kumar, district planning officer, East Singhbhum.

Apart from Janumdih, the other village to be developed in Potka is Dhengam.

The budget is open-ended. Kumar added that East Singhbhum would get Rs 55 crore from the Centre for being one of the 33 left-wing extremist-affected districts across the country.

Development work in these model villages, which have been selected depending on their remote location and unavailability of facilities, has been divided into three categories — infrastructure (road, irrigation, building), service delivery (health and sanitation, education, pension) and livelihood promotion.

Separate groups, comprising district planning department representatives and villagers, have been formed to chalk out the solutions to existing problems. The time period set to start implementation of the schemes is two months.

“Though MNREGS has been implemented here, we left work because we were not being paid in time. I hope this new project ends our misery as we ourselves are going to work on our problems.,” said Dipak Sardar, a 35-year-old villager of Janumdih.

The district administration had also put up separate kiosks, where villagers could register their grievances. These kiosks were on health and sanitation, free legal aid, maternal and child health and infrastructure problems. Each kiosk registered more than 100 problems in one day. A report will be compiled and submitted to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande for a final analysis.

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