Wedding bells ring in backward Rajasthan village after 22 years

first_imgWhen 23-year-old Pawan Kumar brought his bride from Madhya Pradesh to the nondescript Rajghat village in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district earlier this week, the poor villagers had reason to rejoice. The wedding bells had tolled in Rajghat after a gap of 22 years because no parents were willing to marry their daughters off to anyone in the village.The pathetic state of Rajghat, situated 5 km away from Dholpur town, ruled out the possibility of the eligible bachelors getting any marriage proposals for two decades. The last marriage of a youth took place in the village in 1996.Situated on the banks of Chambal river, the small and dusty Rajghat village – with a population of only 350 – has no roads, electricity supply, water pipelines or basic medical facilities. The lone government primary school has only a few students. When the sun sets, the village is covered in utter darkness.No clean waterTill recently, the villagers living in the vicinity of the river had no access to clean drinking water. They drank highly polluted water directly from Chambal, where the animal carcasses could be seen floating. The villagers collecting water from Chambal faced an added risk of attack by crocodiles.The village, which shares its name with Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat in Delhi, falls in the Chambal river basin region on the Rajashan-Madhya Pradesh border, which is a forest area. Because of the technical glitch of its location within the Municipal Council’s jurisdiction, the rural settlement was deprived of the benefits of schemes designed for panchayats.Thanks to the sustained efforts of a medical student and his friends for improving the living conditions in Rajghat for the last three years, a kuchcha access road and community toilets have been constructed, solar lamps supplied and reverse osmosis water filters installed with the help of donors and crowdfunding. The group of students also gave utility items and clothes to poor people in the village.PIL filed in High CourtAshwani Parashar, a final year MBBS student in Sawai Man Singh Government Medical College in Jaipur and a native of Dholpur, moved a public interest litigation in the Rajasthan High Court on the conditions in Rajghat last year and wrote letters to the Prime Minister’s Office. He also launched a social media campaign with hashtag #SaveRajghat.Pawan’s father Darshan Lal said on Thursday that the slight betterment in the village’s living conditions had improved the marital prospects of its young men. “I am happy that my son has got married. The entire village was rejoicing and the people congratulated him,” he said.There are still three dozen men of marriageable age in Rajghat waiting for proposals. Pawan has got married to a girl from Kusait village in Madhya Pradesh.Planning for better interventions for improving the living standard of the people in Rajghat, Ashwani has appealed to the villagers to stop drinking liquor and focus their energy on community works. “The marriage of a youth after 22 years is an achievement in our journey for bringing Rajghat to the mainstream of development. A lot more still needs to be done.”CM Raje’s home districtThe 22-year-old medical student said the lack of basic infrastructure not only depicted the State government’s failure in Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s home district, but it also amounted to violation of the villagers’ fundamental right to dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution. He laid emphasis on a “sustainable solution” from the government for evolving a robust infrastructure for the village.last_img

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