Parliamentary committee's visit evokes contrasting emotions | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Parliamentary committee's visit evokes contrasting emotions

punjab Updated: Jun 19, 2012 15:08 IST
Kamaldeep Singh Brar
Kamaldeep Singh Brar
Hindustan Times
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When a central panel visits two villages of Bathinda district on Tuesday, it will be a proud moment for one, but an awkward one for the other.

While villagers of Mehma Sarja are looking forward to the visit of the parliamentary committee on agriculture as it would record the success story of village resident and progressive farmer Jagtar Singh, residents of Jhajjal village do not share the same sentiment.

Although both villages fall in the Malwa region, which has the dubious distinction of being called the cancer belt of Punjab, Jhajjal is one of the worst-affected by the disease.

Having a population of 3,187, Jhajjal has lost 21 residents to cancer in the last 10 years. At present, there are seven cancer patients in the village.

"It is not the first team to visit our village and it would not be the last, I think," Jhajjal sarpanch Nazar Singh said. "Several teams of experts have come to the village to study the cancer problem in the last 10 years, but no one returned with any solution. Let's see what this team can do."

All the media attention Jhajjal got in the last 10 years has irritated the villagers. They are also upset with the media for often calling their village of bachelors.

"Do they (mediapersons) have any survey report," Nazar Singh asked. "They say boys from the village have lower matrimonial prospects as residents are affected by cancer. But the real situation is not so. Our boys get as many matrimonial offers as boys of any other village.

"We came to know about the visit of the team on Sunday evening and do not have any high expectations," he added.

However, the mood is upbeat in Mehma Sarja. Jagtar Singh is known for adopting and successfully implementing diverse farming methods on his agricultural land in the village.

"It is a proud moment for us as the central team visit will give the village recognition at the national level," Jagtar Singh. "We hope that nation will also adopt diversification in farming to make agriculture a profitable profession. We are ready to host the guests and explain to them our achievement."