Road To Redemption: ‘Let Down’ By Govt, Tribal Family Takes To Connecting Remote Village In Odisha

Phulbani: After repeated appeals to government authorities fell on deaf ears, a tribal family have started building a road to connect their remote village to a motorable track in Daringbadi block of Kandhamal district.

The village, Badapenga, is densely forested and inhabited by 10 Kondh families comprising 56 members. Due to the village’s inaccessibility, the residents are left to fend for themselves and deprived of government benefits.

For years, the villagers have been approaching every forum, from the gram panchayat to the district level, but in vain.

Fed up with the official apathy, 42-year-old Dhaneswar Pradhan, his wife and four children took it upon themselves to build the road a month ago.

Dhaneswar said he had even requested his fellow villagers to join hands in making the road, but no one was willing to forego their daily wages for the voluntary work.

Of the six kilometres, the family has already completed a four-km stretch. “We hope to connect Kerubadi with our village soon when the entire stretch of 6 km is done. We will then have motorable road as opposed to now when we have to walk up the hill to reach Badepanga,” Dhaneswar was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

The tribal family’s efforts would have gone unnoticed had two social workers, Lusmin Pradhan and Rupakanta Pradhan, not visited the remote village for a survey. “We lost our way while going to the village and spotted the family working on building the road,” said Lusmin.

After the social workers highlighted the family’s efforts, the administration has also started showing interest in taking up the matter.

“We are planning to construct the road through MGNREGS involving Dhaneswar’s family as well as other villagers,” said Daringbadi BDO Kalakrushna Pradhan.

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