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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Ignored Yet Hopeful

By The Editor

Most people residing in urban and suburban areas fail to comprehend plight of compatriots  settling in far- away nooks and corners of the state especially those in border areas who have to struggle daily in order to sustain themselves with bare necessities. Of course,  urbanites too are not free of problems which they have to encounter daily. Nonetheless, city and town people are comparatively better off because basic amenities are within easy reach. Village connectivity is topmost priority which acts as spine to society by means of which villagers can improve their economy and hence their total well- being. Due to lack of proper roads and bridges, rural folks cannot easily transport their agricultural produce to markets nor carry their consumer goods from markets to their homes. Hence economy stagnates and villagers have no alternative but continue to live in poverty and squalor. Planners and administrators ought to bear in mind that for health and development of a nation or state to be really for all citizens then villages cannot be ignored at all. Franklin Delano Roosevelt the 32nd President of United State of America(USA) said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much: it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Leaders are to take note that there are many villages which need more attention since they have been much neglected in the past, especially those located along international border areas. Huroi village in East Jaintia Hills District is one such example which is 158 km from Shillong and 71km from district headquarters Khliehriat. The village comprising of about 400 households totally lacks basic infrastructures like proper drinking water supply, electricity, roads and healthcare. Road construction which was started 35 years back supposed to connect other villages of Lahalein, Hingaria, Borghat and up to Muktapur and Dawki in West Jaintia Hills district was never completed and seems to be abandoned for reasons  best known to government. So people have to walk on foot for many hours to nearest villages for trade and commerce and the jungle along the way are full of wild animals. For medical requirements nearest village is Umkiang  and to reach there they have to cross river Lukha which takes hours through there is only subcenter in Huroi. Main sources of income are from areca nut, betel leaf and broom stick .

In spite of all these encumbrances people of Huroi and neighbouring villages are very innovative by communicating with their counterparts from Bangladesh  and indulge in barter trade getting food grains in exchange for areca nuts and betel leaves and that’s how they survive. In 2020, adjacent villages of Hingaria, Lahalein and Lejri had formed Joint Action Committee main demand being road construction connecting villages with national highway in Sonapur, East Jaintia Hills district which  bore fruits and road is now in progress. Next in Line is Border Haat which will boost trade and commerce in region.

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