Protest gets a new spin: Bengal villagers organise cricket match to highlight poor condition of roads
When repeated appeals fell on deaf ears, the village of about 250 families held a tournament and invited sub divisional officer (SDO) Sanjay Pal as chief guest for the final on December 24.kolkata Updated: Dec 26, 2017 22:51 IST
Demonstration got a new spin when villagers in Manbazar block of Purulia district in West Bengal decided to organise a cricket match to highlight the pathetic condition of the road.
When repeated appeals fell on deaf ears, the village of about 250 families held a tournament and invited sub divisional officer (SDO) Sanjay Pal as chief guest for the final on December 24.
“We initially thought about erecting roadblocks. But then we thought about holding a cricket match and inviting the authorities as chief guest.” When the SDO reached the match venue, travelling through the same road the villagers use, the organisers threw a googly at him.
Pal was asked if he faced any difficulty on the way.
And it worked.
The SDO realised the reason he was invited and promised the locals that the road will be repaired soon. “I have spoken to the block development officer and asked him to submit the budget plan so that the road can be repaired at the earliest,” he said.
No one in Harekrishnapur remembers when the road, the only one connecting the village with Manbazar, about 5km away, was last repaired. “Villagers use bicycles. You will not find anyone in the village who does not have to get his tyres fixed frequently, all because of the condition of the road,” said Debdas Chatterjee, secretary of the village’s club.
The village has a pumphouse near Kangsabati river. “If it malfunctions, personnel avoid coming for repair as they have to travel through the road,” he said.
“ I have learnt about the condition of the road. It’s a matter of shame that the road has not been repaired. I am talking with the local administration to solve the problem,” said Sandhya Rani Tudu, the MLA of Manbazar.