Kya Hua Tera Vaada: ‘No Vikas’, Says UP Village Boycotting Polls

Kya Hua Tera Vaada: ‘No Vikas’, Says UP Village Boycotting Polls

My Report

Reporter: Mythreyee Ramesh
Video Editor: Vishal Kumar
Camperaperson: Sumit Badola

The village of Dalelpur is just one hour away from the National Capital Region. But as the media conglomerates, high-rise apartments and the malls of Noida fade, and we enter the roads leading to Dalelpur, all signs of vikas promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi disappears. There is also no election fever in this village. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

As their constituency of Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh goes to vote on 11 April, the 200-odd people in this tiny village have collectively decided to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, they tell The Quint.

“This election, we have decided that we will not cast our votes. No one will vote from our village. The politicians come, make promises and go away. But no work has been done here. This is why, we want to ask them – kya hua tera vaada?”
Gurmeet Singh, Resident

With no roads, no electricity and no basic healthcare facilities or even a sarpanch, the villagers feel that they are residing in a place that is almost ‘non-existent.’

“Any politician – MP, MLA or corporator, whoever it is I would like to invite them to this village for two days. Live like us for two days. Then, you will understand how we live.”
Satbir Tyagi, Resident

Without Connectivity, Everyday Activities a Herculean Task

While Dalelpur is located just an hour away from Delhi NCR, reaching the village is an herculean task. Located on the banks of river Yamuna, the village is sandwiched between Faridabad and Greater Noida.

We had two options to reach the village – either by crossing the river or walking a 7-km stretch on kutcha road to the next village. After much deliberation, we chose to try our luck and ride the car through the roads.

When we spoke to the women of the village, they said that the lack lack of connectivity means no employment opportunities, and no freedom to venture out alone.

More importantly, for them it means depending on their husbands or other male members to take them to hospitals, as the village lacks even a basic dispensary.

“The biggest problem is the connectivity. We cannot travel alone because there is no mode of transportation. There is absolutely nothing. Whenever we ladies need medicine, where do we get it from? There is no hospital nearby. We have to go to Faridabad. We neither have doctors nor nurses.”
Hasinder Kaur, Resident 

For years, the villagers have been crossing the river to reach Yakutpur, and then trekking four kilometres to reach Gulawali village, where they finally cast their votes.

But the villagers assert that they have had enough. When we asked them about their elected representatives, they had no clue.

Their Member of Parliament, Mahesh Sharma, who is the Union Minister for Cultural Affairs, has not paid a visit to this part of Gautam Buddh Nagar even once.

‘Powerless’ Dalelpur

A line of mud houses – that’s the first sight as we enter Dalelpur. Village elders are sitting outside, with children playing in the vicinity.

In the sweltering heat of April, 80-year-old Ganshyam, who was born in this very village, tells us:

“Nothing has changed over these years. Hardly three-four houses have fans. What is the use of having a fan when there is no electricity?” he asks.

Ganshyam’s son and 40-year-old farmer Gurmeet Singh took us to the part of the village where electricity poles have been erected – but there are no wires between them.

“The electricity poles have been erected. But it doesn’t give us any power. We never have electricity in our village. And whatever electricity we had earlier has been cut now.”
Gurmeet Singh, Resident

Notably, PM Modi took to Twitter one year ago to claim – “28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever! I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity.”

However, this village just about 60 kilometres away from Modi’s seat of power has no electricity at all.

Living just next-door to Gurmeet Singh is Sanjay, who wanted to enrol his child in school almost a year ago. The school mandated that Sanjay submit the child’s Aadhaar card.

When he approached an Aadhaar card counter in Greater Noida, he was asked to bring a letter from a sarpach, as proof that a village called Dalelpur exists. Only, the village has no sarpanch.

No resident of the village possess an Aadhaar card and many don’t even have ration cards.

“How will I show my child’s Aadhaar card, when I don’t even have one? I went to get an Aadhaar card. They asked me to get a letter from a sarpanch. But this village has no sarpanch.”
Sanjay, Resident, Dalelpur

‘Will It Even Make A Difference?’

This season, even the party workers who visit the area to seek votes ahead of elections are absent.

“Every time, you tell us that you will fulfill your promises. But nothing has been done. Once the elections are over, no one will return.”
Hasinder Kaur, Resident

On 11 April, the villagers of Dalelpur will stay put and not exercise their franchise as a mark of protest. But the question in every resident’s mind is – “Will it even make a difference?”

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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