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After 85 years of Gandhi’s visit, villagers sit on a dharna in ‘Bapu style’

Inspired by the non-violent protest of Mahatma Gandhi, villagers of Anantapur village in Sagar district are sitting on a dharna for the past one week demanding basic amenities in the village and a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

bhopal Updated: Jun 21, 2018 15:06 IST
Anupam Pateriya
Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Mahatma Gandhi,Anantapur,Sagar
(Photo by Aalok Soni/ Hindustan Times)

Inspired by the non-violent protest of Mahatma Gandhi, villagers of Anantapur village in Sagar district are sitting on a dharna for the past one week demanding basic amenities in the village and a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

During the dharna, they have been singing bhajans and other songs sung by Gandhiji. This is the same village where Gandhiji addressed a prathna sabha in 1933.

Their unique method of protest is catching on and seven other nearby villages, which are facing similar problems, have also started similar dharnas.

Having population of about 5000, the villagers are demanding a high school building, connecting road and ban on illegal sale of liquor, which is rampant.

The villagers also wanted to change the village’s name to Gandhi Gram and set up a Gandhiji’s memorial to inspire others.

A villager Sonu Kurmi, 22, said, “Our village has a historical importance. Mahatma Gandhi had come to our village as it was a self-reliant village due to a spinning wheel unit established by Jethalal. The unit was discontinued. Now, we are facing hardship. We don’t even have even pucca road. The rampant sale of illegal liquor has become a major problem in the village.”

“We are demanding the basic facilities for the past so many years but nobody paid any attention. There is no connecting road to our village, we have to travel 25 km to reach the nearest market. The administration set up a high school but the school is running without a building. Similarly, the nearest police station is also very far from the village which resulted in the activities of anti-social elements have increased,” said Baliram Patel, 65, another villager.

Deori sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) RM Tripathi said, “We held a meeting with villagers of all the eight villages and trying to find out the solution.”

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 15:06 IST