Back to roots: Nine of Haryana’s 10 Lok Sabha members have their agenda for development for their model villages cut out. Barring Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda who finds the scheme ‘an impractical idea’, the rest have encountered similar problems at the grassroots, whether it’s the lack of clean drinking water or power cuts. HT finds that Rajya Sabha members from the state and the Chandigarh Lok Sabha MP have hit the ground running.
Dushyant took Chautala consent
Dushyant Chautala 26
Village adopted: Makhand, 32 km from Jind
Why: Though Dushyant Chautala was unavailable for comments on why he chose to adopt Makhand, a video posted on his Twitter account says he had approval to do so from his grandfather and INLD president Om Prakash Chautala, who is in Tihar jail. Aides of the young MP say Dushyant will consult the residents of Makhand on the projects they want.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Sudesh Kumari rues the lack of clean drinking water in the village. She says the condition of roads is also deplorable. “We also need a college,” she adds.
Toilets in homes his top priority
Ashwini Kumar Chopra 58
Population: 4,000 (estimated)
Village adopted: Mohdinpur, 10 km from Karnal
Why: Chopra says, “I adopted the backward village near the Yamuna following an advisory of district officials. I plan to have Sulabh toilets installed in all households of this village.” He would be asking villagers to submit a priority list for the development of Mohdinpur.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Ishwar Devi says village pond need immediate repair and wastewater requires proper disposal. “Besides, there is a need to build a boundary wall of the government high school boundary,” she adds.
Chose village that didn’t vote for him
Raj Kumar Saini 61
Village adopted: Sanghan, 15 km from Kaithal
Why: Saini starts with a confession. “In the Lok Sabha polls, I received fewer votes from Sanghan than my rival. Yet I went on a thanksgiving visit to the village and got to know that it lacked basic infrastructure. Its plight moved me and I resolved to give the villagers better healthcare and roads,” he says.
Wishlist: Panch Joginder Kaur says, “We want better bus connectivity. Plots allotted to poor families are 2 km away and there is no road to take us there.”
Tribute to Vajpayee visit in the 1960s
Rattan Lal Kataria 62
Village: Khadri in Yamunanagar district. Khadri is 15 km from Ambala
Why: Khadri is a Yamuna-bank village dominated by Scheduled Caste population and often bears the brunt of floods. “Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited it in the late 1960s. As a tribute to him, I will develop this village as a model by providing it the best of facilities in education, sanitation and sport.”
Wishlist: Sarpanch Bhopal Singh Khadri says sanitation is a priority. “I wish the MP gets us sewerage system; community hall, park, ground and protection wall,” he says.
Gurjar invokes Surdas, wishlist long
MP: Krishan Pal Gurjar 57
Village adopted: Tilpat, 5 km from Faridabad
Why: Gurjar says though Tilpat is just on the outskirts of Faridabad, it lacks basic amenities. The village comprises members of all communities but is predominantly home to members of the economically weaker sections. “I have chosen the village for it is here that Baba Surdasji lived and attained spiritual bliss,” Gurjar says.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Sudha Devi says that being a model village, Tilpat should have proper streets, drains, a girls’ college, sports ground or a stadium, a health centre and above all regular power supply.
Home to IAS officers, Bolani deprived
MP: Rao Inderjit Singh 64
Village adopted: Bolani, 12 km from Rewari, bordering Rajasthan
Why: Rao Inderjit says he had Bolani in mind for long because it has remained without amenities for years. “It lacks proper streets, drinking water facility, education and sports grounds. I will focus on building toilets here and generating awareness about the importance of sanitation. Ponds need to be cleaned and solid-waste managed,” he says.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Surender Singh Yadav says, “Though our small village has produced several IAS officers and senior defence personnel, it has not seen basic amenities. Health and hygiene should be the MP’s priority. Education comes next.”
Development at heart of his constituency
Dharambir Singh 59
Village adopted: Donga Ahir in Ateli, 30 km from Mahendergarh
Why: Dharambir says he chose the village as it lies in the heart of his constituency yet it has not seen development. “My priority will be to strengthen the water and electricity supply. I will also focus on sanitation and generate awareness about the importance of cleanliness in the village.” Since Mahendergarh gets the backward region grant fund to improve its standard, he wants the village to benefit from all government-run programmes. For the record, the Yadav-dominated village has a child sex ratio of 830 girls for every 1,000 boys. The village has 60% of its youths in the defence services.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Dalip Singh says the villagers are glad that the government itself has come to their doorstep to provide them facilities. “The panchayat wants a veterinary hospital set up, educational institutions built and water supply system in place in the first phase of development,” he adds.
Datoli expecting to be rewarded for loyalty
Ramesh Kaushik 54
Village adopted: Datoli, 6km from Ganaur in Sonepat district
Why: Datoli has remained loyal to Ramesh Kaushik. The village has played a significant role in his political career, including when he contested from Ganaur on the Haryana Vikas Party ticket. This May too, the member of Parliament got a lead from Datoli, adjoining the Yamuna. Ask him about his priority and he says, “I would help build a solid-waste management plant for the village.
Besides, I am in the process of chalking out a blueprint of education, water and power facilities for this village.” The village is dominated by Scheduled Caste and backward class communities, the welfare of which is vital.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Om Prakash Goswami says a to-do list has already been submitted to Kaushik. “It includes the provision to drain out water from the village besides the requirements of an industrial training institute and a women’s college,” he says. Building a ring dam to prevent river water from flooding crops during the rains was also sought.
Welfare with eye on INLD’s prospects
Charanjeet Singh Rori 43
Party: Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)
Village adopted: Gudiyakheda, 16 km from Sirsa
Why: Rori says the village he has adopted needs immense care. “Eh bada kamzor pind hai (It is a weak-infrastructure village),” he adds, citing the problems of saline water, erratic power supply and kutcha streets. “Meinek ek karke punj pind god levanga aur usnu bahot changa banavanga (I will be adopting five villages, one each year, and transforming them into model ones,” he says.
Incidentally, Gudiyakheda falls in the Ellenabad assembly constituency represented by Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala. Development of the village would benefit the INLD as much as it does its residents.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Poonam Godara takes the opportunity to inform the member of Parliament that her village lacks a range of basic amenities. It has neither pucca streets nor proper drinking water and electricity supply. The villagers look forward to a health centre, so that they no longer have to travel for to receive treatment; and a stadium, so that the enery of its youth is channelised.
Dhin villagers hope for turn in fortune
Kumari Selja 52
Village adopted: Dhin, 25 km from Ambala Cantonment
Why: Selja says though the entire Mullana segment of her constituency is neglected and lacks basic amenities, she chose Dhin since it has a mixed population of the Dalits and Backward Classes, besides other deprived communities. “This village has no proper drains or sewerage system. There is no source of safe drinking water. Sanitation is neglected. We need to tackle the housing problem as well,” she says.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Daler Kaur says, “Ours is a big village yet Dhin has no proper drains. The retaining walls of our ponds have crumbled and need urgent repair. The buildings that house the village dispensary and school are in a dilapidated condition. None of the six anganwadi centres have a building to function from. However, now we are hopeful that our MP, Kumari Selja will get Dhin the facilities it so badly needs. We have great expectations from her and we put our trust in her.”
Survey to select projects underway
Shadi Lal Batra 74
Village adopted: Anwal, 18 km from Rohtak
Why: Batra, a confidant of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, says the lack of development at Anwal, which is a part of Kalanaur assembly constituency, prompted him to adopt it. He says villagers will be empowered to select projects. “I met the villagers recently and it was decided unanimously that a thorough survey would be conducted within two months to study the issues,” he says.
Unstated reason: It goes without saying that Anwal was chosen because it happens to be a stronghold of the Congress.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Manju Rani says that the panchayat has yet to submit its list of demands. “We want that the retaining wall of a common pond be strengthened and separate ghats be built for women. It is a belief that the pond has medicinal value. Hundreds visit to take a dip,” she says. The village needs sewers, besides delivery hut at health centre.
Plantation drive, school priorities
Ram Kumar Kashyap 63
Village adopted: Bhadson (in Karnal district), 15 km from Kurukshetra
Why: Kashyap says he chose the village as it is located near his camp office of Kurukshetra. “This will enable me to give personal attention to the village. I plan to launch a tree plantation drive besides working on the waste collection and disposal mechanism,” he says. Opening a primary school would be his priority, he adds.
Wishlist: Sarpanch Nar Singh says following land acquisition by the central government for PowerGrid in 2012, today more than 100-acre panchayat land has no approach road. “A primary school is 2 km from the village and children from poor families find it hard to attend classes. We request the MP to help us get a school of our own,” he adds.
Sarangpur waits for ‘achhe din’
Kirron Kher 61
Village adopted: Sarangpur, 5 km from Chandigarh
Why: Kher says she chose Sarangpur because there is a lot of scope of improvement in the area. “Vacant land can be used in a useful manner for projects. Setting up a sports stadium, an e-sampark centre besides improving educational and health facilities would be my priorities,” she adds. A film city is proposed at the village that is located on the outskirts of City Beautiful. Kher is believed to have won a sizeable share of votes from the village, which was chosen for mega projects by former UT administrator Lt Gen SF Rodrigues (retd).
Wishlist: Sarpanch Sadhu Singh says, “This village has gone through so much that we now wish to see development on the ground. The land was acquired for mega projects but nothing came up. Now we expect that the two government schools be upgraded and better health facilities provided. A community centre is needed besides improvement in infrastructure.”