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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
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Lucknow Diary

The ‘importing’ of Uma Bharati from MP may not have set the BJP’s fortunes on fire in UP, but she continues to offer rich material to the diarist

Lucknow Diary
Lucknow Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Pipri, Live

A high percentage of Dalits has given Pipri, in Sitapur, two hours from Lucknow, the status of an Ambedkar village. This means the village gets priority ‘saturation’ by all ongoing central and state social welfare schemes. And so, 75 homes have been built in the past two years under the Indira Aawas Yojana, some of them have atta­ched toilets under the Total Sanitation scheme, the entire village has CC (cement-concrete) roads under the Gramin Sadak Yojana, and there is an Ambedkar Health Centre. No one in the village had received the benefits of the Savitribai Phule Aarthik Madad Yojana under which girls from BPL families who get through the 10th grade get Rs 15,000 and a free bicycle (we came acr­oss an example in another village). Make no mistake. Pipri is an exception. These benefits have been extracted only after fighting a malfunctioning administration and corrupt contractors who wan­ted to mix low-grade sand into the cement. In their fight, they had the assistance of Richa Singh, a local activist. Other Ambedkar villages aren’t so lucky. We’re told of the nearby village of Chow­k­hadia, where the contractors had their way and the roads have already deteriorated in the rains. But even Pipri, for all its political alertness, suffers from delayed ration cards, an underqualified sch­oolmaster, a school building that’s yet to be com­pl­e­ted, and pensions denied arbitrarily. So who will Pipri vote for? Beh­enji, of course. Why? Bec­ause benefits, even if hard won, have come. As one of them tells us, even if they vote for the Sam­ajwadi Party, no one in the SP will believe them.


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