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Asset declaration: Farmer from Valmiki Nagar offers insight on last 5 years under Modi rule

Tharu tribe member Ramchandra Mahto in the Valmiki Nagar constituency has gradually been handing over the work to his sons

Dev Raj Published 26.05.24, 07:29 AM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File image

Tharu tribe member Ramchandra Mahto in the Valmiki Nagar constituency has gradually been handing over the work to his sons. He has gathered forest produce for some time and worked as a labourer in his younger days. Now, with his sons sharing most of the workload, Mahto whiles away his time, sitting in the shade of a tree outside his house, doting on his grandchildren

Name & Age: Ramchandra Mahto, 68


Education & Profession: Illiterate; farming

Family & Place: Wife, five sons and several grandchildren, living in a joint family; Kanbhusari village in Valmiki Nagar

Do you earn more or less, compared with 2019? We earn more because the selling price of farm produce in the wholesale market has increased. It has filtered down to us also. There was a time when the people used to get 10 per cottah wages for planting sugarcane. Today they get 600 per cottah

Do you save more or less compared with 2019? We save less because inflation has increased and our expenses have gone up

What things does your house now have that it did not in 2019? One of my sons bought a motorcycle a couple of years ago. Another one bought a television set. Many people in my family have bought big mobiles (smartphones). We get regular electricity supply at home, but not at our farms

What things does your neighbourhood have that it did not in 2019? The roads have been built and repaired. The adobe houses and thatched dwellings have given way to pucca houses. We also have tap water

Have central/state govt schemes made any difference to your life? How?
We have applied for the Ayushman Bharat card but are yet to get it. People say that it has been made and we will get it soon. Thankfully, we do not fall ill much. We get only 3-4kg foodgrains per person instead of 5kg because the public distribution system dealer siphons it away. We do not protest, because it will lead to a fight. We do not get sugar and kerosene

Do your children go to school?
All of my grandchildren go to the nearby government school. Classes are held regularly for the last few months and most of the teachers are also present. I am expecting things to improve further

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? Corruption is in everything. We cannot get anything without greasing the palms of those in power. We have to pay 1,200 bribe to the mukhiya to get 12,000 to build a toilet with government help. Similarly, people have to pay 20,000 to get a house under the Indira Awas Yojana (now Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana). We are afraid to protest because there is a nexus among all those in power

Valmiki Nagar voted on May 25

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