Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
Sunoli Mafi, a village in Uttarakhand's Almora district, remained disconnected from the nearest town due to no road connectivity. However, now, residents have taken it upon themselves to build a road.
For years, locals had been struggling to get access to medical treatment on time. With no roads, the patients are ferried on a stretcher or on a palanquin. The situation has turned grim with the coronavirus outbreak.
Following lockdown guidelines and procuring essentials, including groceries and vegetables, has become challenging since the shops are shut by 10 am and trekking is an arduous process to be taken up every single day. Hence, the one visiting the shop gets groceries for the entire village on a stretcher.
Naresh along with his friends has formed a team to turn a three-kilometer-long stretch into a temporary road. Equipped with all the resources they have —hammer and stones, the group has been working tirelessly to construct the road. Soon after, they were joined by locals in their brave endeavor.
"I stay in Delhi, but I am back in the village because of the lockdown. The only way up and down is this trek but COVID increased our helplessness by many folds," Naresh told India Today.
"Till now, the sick were only carried on a stretcher or a palanquin. But that's not feasible because COVID is spreading uncontrollably. We realised that we had to do something otherwise we would be losing our loved ones," he explained.
He said that the decision to build a road was taken collectively after his friends offered him a helping hand. They plan to complete the task in the next 15 days.
Multiple requests made to the authorities for enabling infrastructural connectivity have ended up falling on deaf ears. Residents shared that apart from healthcare facilities, getting access to COVID-19 vaccination has also been a struggle. Since few are able to travel to nearby places, most of the residents, including the elderly, have not been vaccinated against the deadly virus.
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