Sunday, February 16, 2020

"Ask not what your country..." Road construction by Vizag's Tribals

Tribals on road construction - Photo courtesy : TOI
Andra Pradesh - first state to be formed based on lingusitc lines in post independent India in 1953; and probably the first state to be divided along pre-independent lines later. One state which can boast off best Biriyanies and Chillies. Recently, the state is confused about how many capitals it need. One (Amaravati), two (Vizag, Amaravati) or three (Vizag, Amaravati and Kurnool).

While, whole scale confusion became the mark of government on what to do with capitals, high court bences and former cheif Minister; people at Visakhapatnam's agency areas had no such problem. They were clear, lets build a road on their own and see what comes later. Tribals (Muka Doras, Konda Doras, and Kondus) of nine villages took their equipments built 7 km road in 3 weeks.

Its not that government did nothing. Way back in 2018-19, under NREGS 40 lakh INR was sanctioned for this road. Due to some reason it didn't happen. As tribals realized roads are highways for better life, especially for emergency care and other essential services they came forward and did what is necessary.

After this news came out, project director for Integrated Tribal Development Agency stated that, this project will be brought under NREGS and involved tribals will be paid for (as news papers often don't follow up the news they publish, we may never know whether they were actualy paid for or metal road was constructed later).

This pattern is something which this country can look forward. Beneficieries are coming together, pooling their resources and completing the task. We can see the same pattern earlier in rennovating (I would rather say recreating a lake at Ukkadam, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu).

Important thing is one should not wait for government to do everything for them, like the tribals of Andra or people of Coimbatore we can also come together, take up a project and finish it.

If I modify John F Kennedy's statement a bit, "And so, my fellow Indias: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country".


1. Andhra Pradesh's 'Mountain Men and Women' make own road : TOI

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