Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
A group of tribals belonging to nine different villages came together to construct a ghat road to connect their hamlets in Visakhapatnam's agency areas.
After years of government apathy, these people used locally available material and worked for almost three weeks, successfully completing a 7 km-long kutcha road. This road provides connectivity to certain Eastern Ghats habitations that were otherwise inaccessible.
The people alleged that despite numerous pleas, there was no official help, which forced them to lay the road themselves. These nine hamlets comprise 250 families of 1,500 tribal people.
These people neither have access to medical services, nor electricity.
Four tribal youths from these villages initiated the project.
"Four of us took upon ourselves the task of motivating the hill-top residents in the nine hamlets. We are happy that our efforts are finally paying off," The Times Of India quoted Paduvula Buchanna, one of the quartet, as saying.
From January 23 this year, the people from these hamlets began working on the project.
A team of as many as 100 people worked daily, taking turns, at an average of nearly 2.5 km per day.
Three otherwise elusive tribes - Muka Doras, Konda Doras and Kondus, also came together to work.
Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA) grant, Rs 40 lakh was sanctioned by the state government for the road during 2018-19.
Dk Balaji, project director of Integrated Tribal Development Agency, said that the agency will ensure the project is brought under NREGA. He further claimed that those involved in the labour will be paid for their work.
"This is a tremendous effort, but this pathway will not be enough. These mud roads will be washed away during the rainy season; we are planning to go in for full-fledged metal road," said Balaji.
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