Just a few miles away from where I sit to write this post lies the village of Badarpur Khader. I would have never known it existed were it not for a small article tucked away in the inside pages of my morning paper. The article simply stated that this village which is in North East Delhi does not have any civic amenities: no electricity, no water, no dispensary, no school. Over 200o people live there. None of its children, particularly the girls have ever been to school. And this after 62 years of independence!
I decided to browse the net and find out more about this village. Over the years the people of Badarpur Khader had found ways to cope with the situation: all housework is completed before nightfall, mobiles are charged through adaptors connected to tractor batteries, and all weddings take place in daylight! There is more. Last year, the village decided to stand up and take action by setting up their own school.
Of course politicians do visit the village during elections, make empty promises and then vanish in the dark. Authorities give implausible reasons for the state of affairs and retreat into their comfortable shells. Life goes on in this forsaken village...
What is shocking and disturbing is the fact that this little village is within the very city that is busy preparing itself for a sports extravaganza and spending astronomical amounts of money, and yet it does not have the tiny amount needed to build a school promised to this village years ago. A PIL has been filed in court highlighting these issues. One wonders how long it will take to wake people out of their slumber!
There are many aberrations around us and this is just one more. The tale of two Indias is a never ending story. In the same city some children ride to school in smart AC buses while others need to walk 8 kilometers in inclement weather. Something is wrong somewhere and I wonder what it will take for us to wake up and begin setting things right!