Kupwara hamlets surviving in the ‘Dark Age’
Kupwara, Dec 4: Manigah-comprising of 8 villages with a population of 10,000 people barely 8 kilometers away from North Kashmir’s frontier district Kupwara faces one problem or the other; water, dilapidated roads, no electricity and absence of health centres and educational institutions. Not speaking of electricity even electric poles have not been erected in the area. “We are living without electricity even 69 years after India’s Independence and there has been no progress on the ground despite repeated assurances given to them by local legislator during 2014 election campaign,” the residents told CNS.
“During election campaign on the directions of locals MLA the officials from Power Development Department brought a power transformer that was kept in Manigah to give us an impression that our villages will be electrified. But as the election was over, the PDD officials took away that transformer back to their office,” an elderly person Ali Muhammad said. “The people in power make misleading and false promises to take our votes. Besides physical suffering we undergo psychological turmoil as well.”
Roads and water supply are the lifeline of any village and town. Manigah area has neither. “Since we don’t have any approaching road in the village, we had to unload all the material before the nallah and take it from there manually on our heads.”
Health care facilities are located several kilometers away from the distantly placed hamlets. In case of emergencies, locals carry the patient on their shoulders in a cot. Crossing strenuous paths of hills and forests to reach hospitals located in the district adds to the gravity of the medical crises.
Similar is the case for education in Manigah, Haihama villages. Parents do not send their children to school as with the meager income that they earn they could only provide one thing: food or education.
“Cattle grazing are our main occupation as we lack all the basic amenities of life. When we compare our life with the urban populace, we find as we are still living in Dark Age,” the locals added. They said that some children who are keen to study are forced to use candles to prepare for their exams. “The government should listen to our woes and provide us with electricity at an earliest.”
A Civil Society member from frontier district Kupwara said that they have every reason to believe that the remote villages of frontier district Kupwara are deprived of all the basic facilities. “The situation of the villages lying on the borders of Kashmir Valley is perhaps the worst of all.”
Local legislator Abdul Haq Khan who is also the Rural Development Minister admitted that these villages lack electrification and said that all these villages will be electrified under a new scheme launched by the Government of India. (CNS)