| Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi offers namaz on Id at Sijubari Idgah Maidan in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Kinangaon, Oct. 16: The Prime Minister’s multi-sectoral development programme (MsDP) for minorities is yet to take off at Kinangaon, a village barely 72km from Assam’s capital.
The village, which has about 150 Garo Christian families, does not have a high school, college, health centre, safe drinking water supply, proper electricity, mobile phone facility or even a proper road.
“Villagers remain completely cut off from the rest of Kamrup district during monsoon. Though we have learnt to live with the situation, it becomes difficult, especially in case of medical emergency. In such a situation, we have nothing to do but leave it to the Almighty to take care of things,” Dilip Sangma, the gaonburah or village headman, told The Telegraph.
He said his village, under Boko revenue circle in Kamrup district near the Assam-Meghalaya border, has only a government lower primary and middle English school with two teachers for each institute. There is not a single college in Kinangaon.
“After completion of ME school, students in the village have to go either to Boko or the Meghalaya side of the border for further studies. Despite all odds, the village has been able to produce some graduates, post-graduates and a few doctors and engineers. Unfortunately, most of the educated youths from this village have to migrate to Meghalaya to get employment,” Sangma added.
Apart from basic infrastructure and civic amenities, the village has not received any education benefit, including minority scholarships.
“We have not heard of MsDP and so do not know what kinds of benefits we could get as the minority community,” the village headman said.
Russel R. Marak, an educated youth who recently sat for the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) but could not clear it, said political leaders come to the village only during elections.
“I have heard about MsDP. But I have not noticed any kind of initiative from the government’s end to implement the Prime Minister’s scheme,” Russel said.
Kinangaon is just one example of the state government’s failure to effectively implement the programme in the state and this seems ironical as it has been making tall claims of welfare of minorities.
Admitting the lack of development in Kinangaon, Adil Shah, chairman of the PCC’s minority department, said the party would inform the government about it.
Biswaranjan Samal, commissioner and secretary of minorities welfare and development, told The Telegraph that deputy commissioners look after execution of the project.
Kamrup deputy commissioner J. Balaji expressed ignorance on Kinangaon and appealed to villagers to approach his office.
“I will also inquire whether any scheme was sanctioned or not earlier for the village. If it is a fit case, we will definitely implement MsDP for the people of Kinangaon,” Balaji said.