Bundelkhand, Jan 9: Renowned civil activist Yogendra Yadav led a four-day ‘Samvedna Yatra’ to the drought-struck region of Bundelkhand. Yadav, along with the volunteers of his outfit Swaraj Abhiyan, prepared a report measuring the impact of drought in the region. The expelled Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder made shocking revelations from ground, which not only exposed the lack of governance in the region, but schemes sanctioned by the Centre, including MNREGA failed to benefit the dwellers.
According to Yogendra Yadav, the entire region of Bundelkhand, divided on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the issue of malnutrition, water-scarcity, mass exodus, crop-failure and successive droughts is outright visible. “The drought in Bundelkhand could very well be converted into a famine, if both (MP & UP) continue to turn a blind eye,” he said in one of his Facebook post. (ALSO READ: Kamal Farooqui slams UP Government for mocking farmers’ plight)
Rainfall was recorded for only 52 days in the hilly-tract. The underground-water level is getting extremely low. There is no produce, and the governments have failed to provide relief. Unemployment has soared up to the level of 90 per cent, leaving youth with no other option but to leave the rural belt and work as an unskilled labour in the nearby towns and cities.
MNREGA, the scheme introduced by erstwhile UPA government, has failed to penetrate in the region. Although, the villagers have job cards, their is no employment granted to them. The unemployed youth from every family is promised 100 days of work as labour under MNREGA. However, the empty job card exposes the lack of priority given by the governments towards the scheme. Both Centre and state governments are responsible for the non-functionary state of MNREGA.
The onground depressing situation in Bundelkhand could be gauged by the fact that locals have the only option of selling dried thorns which have some medicinal properties. These thorns (as shown in the image below) are sold at Rs 10-15 per kg. Even though, such thorns are collected for the entire day, at most an household could gather only 1 kg of the herb.