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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Asset declaration: Boatman Ashok Kumar Yadav rates five years of Modi government

Since he was a boy, Ashok, who counts his four motor-fitted country boats and some patch of farmland as assets, says he has seen everything from elections to technology change

Dev Raj Published 20.05.24, 08:09 AM
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Boatman Ashok Kumar Yadav is a resident of the Sabbalpur diara (riverine land) in Sonepur, Bihar, and claims to live on the Ganga, ferrying people and agricultural produce across the river. Since he was a boy, Ashok, who counts his four motor-fitted country boats and some patch of farmland as assets, says he has seen everything from elections to technology change

Name & Age: Ashok Kumar Yadav, 55

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Education & Profession:

Matriculate; boatman

Family & Place:

Wife and three sons; Sonepur, which comes under the Saran Lok Sabha seat

Do you earn more or less, compared with 2019?

Fewer people from Patna take boat rides across the Ganga — they would rather see it on the mobile than experience it for real

Do you save more or less compared with 2019?

The rate for a boat ride to and fro across the Ganga was 50 per person in 2019. It is still the same, but the price of everything else has gone up. Coupled with fewer passengers, my savings have been severely dented

What things does your house now have that it did not in 2019?

I bought a motorcycle. A television set and a fridge are also at my house now, but they came as gifts to my son from his in-laws at the time of his wedding

What things does your neighbourhood have that it did not in 2019?

A few pucca houses have come up and electricity supply has gotten better

Have central/state govt schemes made any difference to your life? How?

My family & I have been treated at the Patna Medical College and Hospital for free for ages. My name has been taken off the ration card rolls perhaps because I have a pucca house

Do your children go to school?

My second son is studying in Class XII in a government school, but teaching and its quality are not up to mark

Do you encounter more corruption or less in your daily life? Can you cite from personal experience areas where you are directly affected by corruption?

There is too much corruption. There was a theft at my house and another time, a few neighbours assaulted me. I went to Sonepur police station to register an FIR, but police demanded 10,000 as bribe. I returned without registering it

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