After the rumble-tumble on the highway and the pot-holed arterial road near Raja ka Talaab, the road to Jayapur, some 30 km from Kashi, feels like an oasis in a parched desert.
One does not encounter a single bump on the way to this village, indicating its VIP status.
This is the village prime minister Narendra Modi adopted last November under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. Gabru, a road-side vendor selling cucumber signals to a road ahead that he says, goes straight to ‘Modi-ka-gaon’ (Modi’s village). Smiling he tells us that it is a ‘swarg’ (heaven).
Giant wall painted advertisements of different nationalized banks, their schemes and union-government run schemes like the ‘Sukanya Samriddhi’, Jan Dhan Yojna’ and the three socials ecurity schemes rolled out by the BJP government greet you as you enter the village. Trucks and dumpers are off-loading construction material at a point outside the recently inaugurated sub-post office.
Manoj Antala, an employee of a Surat, Gujarat based firm who is overseeing the laying of inter-locking tiles in a stretch of 18-km lanes of the villages, informed IANS that a deadline of 40-days has been set for him to complete the work. “It is a very enriching experience” he says while adding how they were working 24×7 to ensure that ‘Modi saheb’s’ dreams for this village are completed in time.
Swaminath Gond, a 62-year-old rag picker is headed to one of the new bio-toilets constructed at the village, near an old temple. Asked how things were in the village his sun-tanned face breaks into a smile: “Modi ji se bahut khush hain (We are very happy with Modi),” he blurts out.
Vinod Kumar Verma, a 22-year-old undergraduate pursuing polytechnic says things are looking up after Modi adopted the village but wishes that some factories should came up in neighbourhood to generate employment.
“Some companies should be brought here by PM Modi so that youth like us get jobs” he says as Sujit Kumar Gupta, an 18-year-old polio-afflicted boy nods in agreement. Pursuing his BA (IInd year) Gupta said that “things happening in Jayapur were not even imagined in their wildest dreams.” His mother Meena Devi however wants more. Triloki Singh, her neighbour says impetus should be given to the cottage industry in the region.
In a village of 700-odd families, 135 solar street lights have come up. There is a solar pump near the under-construction ‘Panchayat Bhawan’ which fills in ample water in an overhead tank. Of the 15 bio-toilets to come up in the village, eight are already functional, informs Narayan Patel, the de-facto village head. With Durgavati Devi, the village ‘pradhan’ busy with meetings in Varanasi, it’s Patel, her brother-in-law, who holds the fort.
He says that the Prime Minister’s Office was constantly in touch and was monitoring the work here. The villagers however rue that the electricity supply to the village is abysmal at only 8-hours a day. Modi’s men say that’s the job of the state’s Akhilesh Yadav government. Ask 70-year-od Panna Lal, lying on a charpoy under a tree how many marks he would give Prime Minister Modi for development in the village and pat comes the reply: 15 on 10.