Call Centres Do Not Make IT Minister’s Adopted Village ‘Adarsh’

In IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s adopted village in Bihar, there is a call centre but no essential facilities.

2 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam


(Are the ‘achhe din’ here for villages adopted by PM Modi's star MPs? Watch The Quint’s ground reports from villages adopted under the 'Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’ (SAGY))

In 2014, the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, adopted Alawalpur village, 30 km away from Patna in Bihar, under the SAGY project.

After four years, while a section of villagers are pleased with the development in the IT sector which has provided employment to some, others are still deprived of essential facilities such as water, sanitation and roads.

This is the third village in The Quint’s series named ‘Our MP’s Village: Achhe Din?’. We earlier reported on MP Hema Malini and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s adopted villages.

Main Objectives of SAGY?

MPs are supposed to cater to the need of their adopted village and work towards its holistic development. Some of the goals that MPs were to achieve under SAGY:

  • Education facilities
  • Cleanliness
  • Health facility
  • Skill development
  • Livelihoods
  • Basic amenities (Electricity, Pucca houses, roads, WiFi)
  • Good governance

The government kickstarted the SAGY project with the goal that each MP will develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016.

There Are Computers, But No Toilets

Ravi Shankar Prasad opened a call centre in the village where a few women from the village work for a salary of Rs 3,500.

Around 10 girls got jobs. We have learnt how to use computers. We also get to speak to people from different states like Gujarat, Haryana, and Delhi.
Lovely Kumari, Resident, Alawalpur

Ninety percent of the village population comprise Rajputs, who live in concrete houses. However, the oppressed castes live in slums and are deprived of basic amenities.

We don’t have water supply, nor do we have water pump connections. We don’t have any facilities. Drains are overflowing because of garbage. We don’t have toilets or proper homes.
Sunaina Devi, resident, Alawalpur
Nobody informed us about any scheme (under SAGY). Nobody cares about us. We are treated like lower class.  
Ramesh Das, labourer, resident of Alawalpur

While the rich can travel to the nearest town for medical facilities, the poor are dependent on the village’s health facilities. When we visited a healthcare community centre, we found that fodder was stored in it instead of medical equipment.

“There are no doctors or nurses. There is one doctor madam who comes to the hospital sometimes. Animal fodder is stored in the hospital. There is no staff in the hospital, then how will it run?”
Avdesh Singh, panchayat vice president, Alawalpur

Villagers complain that not much work has been done by the MP since it was adopted. Basic facilities like streetlights, toilets, cleanliness have not been provided.

“Four toilets have been constructed. Street lights have not been installed yet. Despite being an adopted village, not much work has been done here. Ravi Shankar Prasad has visited this village only once.”
Avdesh Singh
“Toilets were made, but for personal use. It is of no use to us.”
Ramesh Das, labourer, resident of Alawalpur

(With inputs from Niraj Sahai in Patna)

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