He left the police service with an aim to serve his own community. His mission was to fight the ills plaguing the tribal residents of a small village in Jhabua district.
Meet Ramesh Bariya (47), a Bhil tribal and former assistant sub-inspector (ASI).
A resident of Khawasa village, about 50 km from Jhabua district headquarters, Bariya’s concern for the residents was rewarded. Today he is the village sarpanch.
Above all, he was concerned about the drinking water crisis in his village.
Bariya took compulsory retirement in 2014. The ASI was last posted at Petalwad police station.
He does not have any prior experience of politics except that gained during his deputations during the time of elections.
"I worked in the police force for about 22 years. I fell ill and realised that I should take retirement as I have always wanted to work for the people of my community and my village. Mainly, I wanted to solve the problem of water shortage. Since then I started working for my village," Bariya said.
The former ASI dedicated a year prior to the February elections working for the people of his village and his dedication paid off.
The day he was elected sarpanch, Bariya himself started distributing water from his own tanker to the villagers.
"I have constructed three tubewells free for the people. My aim to fulfil the water needs of the villagers and I will do it in five years," he added.
Talking about his future plan, Bariya said he was planning to lay a pipeline from a nearby pond and also start door-to-door campaign to spread awareness on water conservation.
He added that Bhil tribals suffer from many prejudices.
“Other concerns of mine would be to launch a cleanness drive, prevent malnutrition and work for education of kids. I am planning to bring a high school to the village for which I will have to work hard," Bariya said.
According to the villagers, Bariya never acted like a policeman in the village. He always respected elders and helped others eagerly.
"We believe that he is only person who can bring about prosperity in the village. He knows everything in the administrative departments, he is gentle and his fight for water crisis was the main cause for his victory in the election,” Anokhe Lal Soni, a resident of the village, said.