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Sumitra Mahajan’s Adopted Village in MP Deprived of Amenities

Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan adopted the Potlod village in MP in 2016 under the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’.

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(Are the ‘acche 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))

Sumitra Mahajan, Lok Sabha speaker and a Member of Parliament, adopted the Potlod village in Madhya Pradesh in 2016 under the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’ (SAGY).

Two years have passed since, but not an iota of work is visible on the ground, claimed residents of Potlod.

On 1 October, The Quint published the first story of the series on Hema Malini’s adopted village, Rawal, in UP.

Main Objectives of SAGY?

The main objective of SAGY was to have MPs cater to the needs of their adopted village and work towards its holistic development. Some of the goals that the MPs were expected to achieve were:

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

The government started the SAGY project with the goal to develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019, of which one was to be achieved by 2016.

The Quint spoke to the residents of the village belonging to different strata of the community.

“We brought Tai ji (Sumitra Mahajan) to this village. We took her around and showed her the dirt everywhere. She promised that roads will be constructed here in three months, but it never happened.”
Resident, Potlod village

This village had been a strong hold of the BJP.

“Sumitra Mahajan chose this village as Adarsh village because since 1974, only the BJP has won elections here.”
Resident, Potlod village
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Since 2016, Mahajan has spent around Rs 8 crore on the ‘vikas’ of the village. But has any change really happened on the ground?

“We have made 100 toilets. Under Indira Awaas Yojana, 111 people were benefitted. Around five houses were given under Pradhan Mantri Yojana. Roads of about 2 km were repaired. To connect two villages, we have constructed roads on which we have spent Rs 2 crore. We have also spent on the construction of hospitals and school boundaries.”
Om Prakash Mandloi, Sarpanch, Potlod Village

Now let’s take a look at the work done by the Lok Sabha speaker, one by one.

1. Roads

The roads connecting Potlod with other villages were repaired five years ago. Over the years, the number of potholes on the route have increased, but there are no sign of new constructions.

“The roads are in bad condition for almost five to six years. There are too many potholes which cause accidents, especially during the rainy season. We thought that since Tai ji (Sumitra Mahajan) has adopted this village, we will see some development in this area, but she is sitting in Delhi, nobody cares about what’s happening here.”
Mukesh Singh, Resident, Potlod village

2. Schools

Sumitra Mahajan promised to build a higher secondary for girls under SAGY. But for now, it exists only on paper.

“We were promised a higher secondary school in the village, but it doesn’t exist. The number of teachers are not sufficient in the current school.”
Resident, Potlod

The village girls who want to study after Class 8 are compelled to travel 4 km daily to the Chandravati village.

“After passing out from Class 8 standard, students take admission in the Chandravati village, which is 3-4 kms away from here. The families which can afford higher education for their girls, they get them admitted there. But some girls are forced to leave studies after Class 8 and stay back home.
Mamta Chauhan, School teacher, Resident, Potlod village
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3. Hospitals

The nearest hospital from Potlod is 58 km away in Indore. The villagers complain that even the delivery of a child, they at times have to travel to Indore, and the bad roads only add on to their plight.

“For medical purposes, we go to Chandravati, and if it is an emergency case, then to Indore or Ujjain. The roads are so bad that it is very difficult for a pregnant woman to travel. If the delivery doesn’t happen in Chandravati, then we have to take the patient to Saver or Ujjain.
Resident, Potlod

4. Street lights

The villagers themselves light the streets outside their houses, as there are no street lights.

“We light the streets outside our houses, since there are no street lights. And if we have to travel at night, then we use flash lights in our mobile phones.”
Resident, Potlod

5. Water Supply & Drainage

The villagers also complained about the lack of drainage facility and hygiene.

“Toilet water is released into the open, because of which mosquitoes accumulate and lead to diseases.”
Resident, Potlod village

The village head said lack of funds is the reason for poor drainage system.

“The reason behind the filth are animals. There isn’t a proper drainage system, but it is on our proposal, the moment we get funds we will start the project.
Om Prakash Mandloi, Sarpanch, Potlod Village

Potlod is not exactly a poor village, but on most counts, the people are left to fend for themselves.

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