For over a month now, Dhaneswar Pradhan, a 42-year-old inhabitant of Bandopanka village in Odisha's Kandhamal district has been working on a gigantic project with his family. Fed up with government apathy, they decided to take matters into their own hands and started constructing their own road to connect their remote village to a motorable route near Kerubadi in the Daringbadi block.
Bandopanka is as remote as it gets. Even 75 years after Independence, it has no electricity home and people depend on chuan (small dig wells) for drinking water. It is home to 10 households and has a total population of 56 . For years Pradhan had been running from pillar to post, approached forums, grams panchayat to undertake the construction of a road connecting Bandopanka and Kerubadi. His cries, however, went unheeded.
He requested his fellow villagers to join hands in making one but they did not show any interest as they couldn't afford to give up their wage days for voluntary work.
Pradhan, deciding to take matters into his hands and along with his wife, and their four children, started quietly constructing the road. Their efforts might have gone unnoticed had Lusmin Pradhan and Rupakanta Pradhan, who are social workers, not visited the area to collect data for a survey. "We got lost in the woods while trying to gather data in a settlement. We saw the family working on the road," Lusmin explained.
4 Km Constructed
The family has already finished constructing 4 km out of the 6 km. "When the entire 6 km length is completed, we expect to connect Kerubadi with our community shortly. We'll have a motorable road instead of having to trek up the hill to go to Badepanga now," Dhaneswar said.
The administration is now showing interest in taking up the subject after his efforts were brought to light by social workers. "We want to build the road through MGNREGS with the help of Dhaneswar's family and other villagers," Daringbadi BDO Kalakrushna Pradhan said.