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Political campaigns give village a miss

Residents in and around Santhali Karaili, a sleepy hamlet of Dharhara block, choose to remain unaffected by the hype and hysteria of poll activities in the state owing to alleged negligence of the public representatives.

The villagers said they had to contend with the twin problems of drought and Maoists on their own and hence have given up any hope whatsoever from the administration.

Frail-looking Mando Devi (56), a resident of Santhali Karaili, a sleepy hamlet in Dharhara block, better known as Lal Ghar of Munger, doesn’t show any interest when asked about the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. “We do not know our MP. No one came here during my life. I and many other villagers have recently seen the picture of our MP sahib (Lallan Kumar Singh of the JD-U) on a poll campaigning vehicle,” she said.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Sulo Devi (30), the mukhiya of Karaili panchayat, lambasted public representatives for their apathy towards the areas.

“Some six-seven years back, there was no greenery unlike today. The land was barren in absence of irrigation and Maoists had their sway. But with the water projects, villagers in seven panchayats converted the barren lands into agricultural fields. We also managed to drive back the Maoists without any support from the political leaders,” Sulo said.

Another resident, Mando Devi, said: “I had to depend on wood from the forest. Other people captured a part of my field. My sons migrated to distant places for livelihood. I set free my 10 bighas from the encroachers. Now, I cultivate two crops on my field and my sons live with me.”