Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Once a ‘VIP’ village, Jaitvardeeh in Phulpur constituency craves for development
Residents of Jaitvardeeh village in the trans-Ganga region of Prayagraj saw a ray of hope when their village was adopted by then Phulpur MP Keshav Prasad Maurya in 2014.
However, their joy was short-lived as development works came to a standstill when Maurya vacated the seat to take over as deputy chief minister in the Yogi Adityanath government after the landslide victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2017 UP assembly elections.
Located around 20km from Prayagraj, this village has always struggled for attention and development.
The village has a population of 12,000 with 4,500 voters.
Maurya had adopted the Jaitvardeeh gram sabha which comprised six hamlets including Balipur, Shivpur, Dighi, Adanpur, Dihva and Jairvardeeh.
Village head Mahaveer Yadav said: “We have always struggled for development. Despite tall promises, no work has been done here. Things changed for a short duration in 2014. Visits of officials right from block development officer to chief development officer and even DM became a routine affair. Keshav Prasad Maurya personally held many meetings to draw up a development plan.”
Yadav said a water tank was constructed, a government tube-well started functioning and the village got power supply.
“When Maurya vacated the seat and the BJP lost Phulpur in the by-election, all development work in the village stopped,” he rued.
According to residents, the village needs a new government school, roads and repair of hand-pumps.
Rajkumar Prajapati, a member of the potter’s community, turned to his family vocation after passing class 12 as there are no jobs.
“The condition of one-room health centre is very poor and the road leading to it is in a dilapidated condition. Hardly any medicine or help is available here. Many a times even bundles of hay are stored at the centre,” he said.
“In Dighi hamlet, the then MP Keshav Prasad Maurya had promised potters that they would no longer have to struggle for clay but nothing happened. We are not even allowed to dig clay from the local village pond,” he complained.
“The gram sabha has members of Yadav, Chauhan, Prajapati, Bhartiya and Patel communities with most sticking to either traditional ancestral vocation of dairy, farming or making earthenware or moving to different cities in search of low income jobs. Nothing much has changed for most people here,” said Sanjay Kumar, another villager.
“Development has failed to even meet our meagre expectations. Though now we have power and water supply and tube-well has made irrigating crops easier, most lanes and bylanes are in poor state. The promised second government school is nowhere to be seen, drains are broken and overflowing, and insanitation prevails everywhere,” said Anita Chauhan, a housewife whose husband runs a small photo studio in Tharwai Bazaar, 2km from the village.
Most villagers are also unhappy that Padeshwar Dham, a Lord Shiva temple and a popular site of pilgrimage, has also been neglected. The tin shed for visitors and locals has not yet been put up and the two hand-pumps of the temple are lying defunct.
“The temple is popular among the people of the region It hosts two separate month-long fairs during the year besides a three-day fair during Shivratri. The temple also attracts pilgrims in large numbers who arrive here to offer ‘nishaan’, a flag on a long pole, in reverence whenever their wishes and prayers get answered. But all face problems and hardships for lack of adequate amenities,” said Bindu Gupta, who is unemployed despite being a BEd degree holder.
“The villagers have great expectations from this election and will support a party that fulfils unkept promises and finally ushers Jaitvardeeh into the 21st century,” he added.