Yesterday visited Vaigaon, a village 18 kms away from Wardha. The high temperature, hot sun and gusty hot wind made everyone, except those who had no option but to venture out, stay indoors. I was nicely welcomed in the gram panchayat office by a group of members and the Medical Officer Dr. Khureshi of Mandi Health Unit. Every single member had a different story to share with me and plenty of questions about why the nation’s government is not at all bothered to take good care of farmers of the nation.
We had an hour long discussion about various issues and how I wished I could unite each one of them towards a better future. Rangarao Mahadev Rao Dudurkar has been in the gram panchayat for more than 40 years and said he had seen how the villagers get divided by various political parties and no one really wants to stand united. Vaigaon has an estimated population of near about 10,000 and the village Sarpanch (Head) is a lady, popularly known as Asha Tai. Her husband Bapurao Moreshwar Warwatkar is a farmer and has just joined the panchayat last year only. He said that no one is willing to stand together because they get swayed by dangling carrots during each election by leaders. His insight that government has to think hard to solve the miseries of the poor farmers rather than just giving false promises to them, made me understand how villagers get divided to let the leaders rule them. Dharmdas Mahadevrao Waghmare (member since last 6 years), Manoj Bakshiji Telang has been serving the panchayat since the last 15 years and they both also talked about various issues.
All of them treated me well with drinking water and a hot cup of tea. They were very happy to hear about my plans and said they would lend their hands if need be to move ahead. Dr. Khureshi, the M.O joined in our conversation and said to all of them in Marathi, “You all are talking but does this man understand what you are talking?” I just smiled, tapped him and said, “Saheb mala marathi mayethe (I know Marathi).” Much to his surprise and almost immediately he had to compose himself and started conversing with me in English, even though I was talking to him in Hindi. I was requested by them to write few words in their visitor’s book and when I wrote in Hindi, they were impressed by the remarks
Even God has given up hope to help the farmers of the nation.
The missing God in the village
They gave me few names of the families that have recently lost family members to suicide and even directed me towards their homes. What followed later was disturbing as well as sad and interacting with such families is really hard to fathom as after spending hours with them, I was emotionally drained out. More about them in my subsequent posts…