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UP’s village of bachelors: Why women don’t want to marry ‘powerless’ men

Seventy years independence, Shri Tara Majra, a village of 1,000 near Allahabad, is yet to get a connection for electricity.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2017 12:04 IST
Farhan Ahmed Siddiqui
A woman drawing water from the only handpump in the village. 
A woman drawing water from the only handpump in the village. 

Just 35 km south of Allahabad, the village of Shri Tara Majra finds itself with an unenviable tag of ‘village of bachelors’ because acute water shortage and lack of electricity scare away potential brides.

Women not only from Allahabad’s rural land but even from the interiors of neighbouring districts like Pratapgarh, Kaushambi and Chitrakoot turn down marriage proposals from young men of the village because marriage would mean a life of extreme hardship with scarce water and no power.

Fifty bachelors between the age of 18 to 29 years are hunting for brides without any luck.

Eligible young men from the village cannot find brides, unless they leave the village.

The village has became infamous as a place lacking electricity and even proper water resources, thus promising a life filled with hardships for any woman who marries one of its residents. 

Located only five kilometres from Bara Tehsil headquarters, Shri Tara Majra has a population of around 1,000 - a decent number of voters.

However, the villagers here are still waiting for electricity to reach their village since Independence. 

Shri Tara Majra has a population of around 1000 but incredibly, but the village is yet get electricity.

It has only one hand pump, which the villagers installed in the year 2002, is the only source of water for the villagers. There is also a well but its water is so bad that it can’t be used for anything.

Televisions, refrigerators, fans and coolers which some lucky married men received as dowry can be found lying unused in several homes of this village.

Many of the residents have migrated to other villages and those still living are planning to move soon.

VIllager Badrilal Jaiswal says 20 marriage proposals have been turned down in the recent past.

“My son Mukesh runs a shoe shop in a nearby market and earns well. A year ago, his marriage was fixed in Pratapgarh. The girl’s family was happy with the proposal, but they broke the engagement only a month later when they came to know that there was no electricity in our village. Her mother told us that her daughter is fond of watching television,” Badrilal Jaiswal, a villager told HT.

He wasn’t the only unlucky one. “Not only my son’s but more than 20 marriages have broken since past one year,” Jaiswal added.

Marriage proposals from Shri Tara Majra now triggers panic among residents of other villages. Some insist that the groom should not stay at Shri Tara Majra after marriage so that their daughters are not put through hardships.

“I faced extreme difficulty in finding brides for my three sons. Their marriages were fixed on the condition that they will not live in the village. Since ten years my sons and their families rarely visit the village. Even if they come they stay here only for a day or two. Even our relatives avoid visiting us,” another villager Purshottam Jaiswal said.

Villager Purshottam Jaiswal says even his relatives do not come to visit.

Villagers say their pleas to MLA’s and administrative officials have not yielded any results.

Purshottam Jaiswal further says “We have visited several MLAs and MPs who got elected from the area besides numerous officials during the last several years. However, all our pleas to provide electricity and enough hand pumps in the village fell on deaf ears”.

The area comes under the assembly segment of BJP MLA Ajay Kumar. It also comes under the Lok Sabha segment of BJP MP SC Gupta.

Children at Tara Majra who go to nearby government schools complained that they had to study in the light of a lantern at night. They watch television only when they visit their relatives in other villages.

“We become a laughing stock among children at other villages when they learn that we are living without electricity”, one child said. Many of the students who live in city for studies do not return in holidays.

The administration finally seems to be acknowledging that there is a serious problem.

“Chamu Gramsabha and some other areas are indeed underdeveloped and is suffering from water crisis. I am informed that there is some dispute in taking electricity lines to the area. Administration is providing water through tankers in the villages. Administration will definitely look into the matter and provide electricity if the villagers will apply,” Rajkumar Dwivedi, SDM, Bara told HT.