In Era Of Connectivity, This Village In Odisha Has To Rely On Risky Rafts For Their Needs

Image Credit: New Indian Express

The Logical Indian Crew

In Era Of Connectivity, This Village In Odisha Has To Rely On Risky Rafts For Their Needs

With not many officials paying heed to the needs of the villagers, many among them continue to cross rivers on risky rafts to attend schools, earn their bread, and even carry the dead to burial grounds. This is the case of many such remote villages.

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At a time when the country has set ambitious goals in terms of connectivity and development, many rural villages across India remain disconnected from even basic services due to a lack of proper facilities. With a lack of proper roads or public transport facilities, people travel within the remote regions through rivers and damaged roads under highly risky conditions.

One such village and its villager's hardships were recently reported, bringing to light the need for basic infrastructural development in the rural spaces of India.

Crossing Rivers Of Hardships

Rambila and Barilo, under the Balikuda block of Odisha state, are few among the many such villages that lack basic amenities, such as a bridge to cross across the river or even a road that establishes their connectivity with other parts of the country.

The villagers, out of desperation, continue to risk their lives trying to cross the Alaka river, across which lies the many facilities that they require. They had previously sought an intervention from the panchayat's end to erect a bridge across the river, and years later, the project has not even been taken to the stage of inception. With the absence of a bridge, the villagers continue to put their lives at risk by crossing it using banana rafts.

Even though the panchayat headquarters of Rambila happens to be a couple of kilometres away, there is no concrete road that facilitates their commute. Be it panchayat services, education, health, or even funeral; the villagers can not reach their destination without depending on the risky options that are available to them.

Speaking about this condition, the New Indian Express quoted villagers saying that they must often ferry the bodies to the cremation ground on the other side of the river. Jahangir Khan, a resident of Barilo village, said, "my father died recently, and we had to carry his body to the burial ground through the river via a banana raft. There are many like me who face this problem on a regular basis."

Among the others who deal with this issue as a daily ordeal are school-going children, patients, farmers, and many others whose livelihood lies on the other end of the river. Even a makeshift bridge would provide temporary relief for the villagers, but their pleas go unheard most times.

"We had even appealed to the Water resources minister Raghunandan Das and a local legislator last year to at least construct a footway bridge," said former sarpanch Sadhu Charan Sahoo. Few others like Sahoo had also approached local tehsildars and other people in power for a basic bridge but to no avail.

Also Read: Devadasi Women Lead The Way In Their Village Development Work In Villages Of Karnataka

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Writer : Laxmi Mohan Kumar
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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Laxmi Mohan Kumar