Baripada: Villagers of Jiani, predominantly occupied by Khadia, a forest based tribal community wee in a festive mood following the activities of Governor MC Bhandare, who inaugurated Gyanalok project especially for the drop-outs yesterday.
Mr Bhandare also distributed about 100 school bags, slates, textbooks and other educational materials.
Witnessing the plight of the poor villagers, he directed the collector to ensure completion of road, supply of electricity, drinking water facilities, three-wheel cycles for physically challenged and establishment of a primary school and a primary health centre. While interacting with the villagers, he assured that he would visit the village once more in the near future and hoped that the village would have been well-equipped with these amenities by then.
Jiani, situated about five km from the district headquarters town of Baripada comes under Maratandi gram panchayat of Kuliana block. However, it still lacks modern facilities of health care, education, drinking water, power and other amenities.
More than 300 families live in the village and depend on the nearby forest for their daily livelihood. However, sharp depletion of the forest cover has posed a major threat to their lives and livelihood.
Official reports admit that only 11 children of the village go to the primary school located three km away from the village. Due to poverty, many have stopped going to school and the count is ever increasing.
Though at least 12 Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) houses have been sanctioned, they have not been built yet as some unscrupulous officials have stalled the procedure by demanding bribe. The village still lacks a bore well.
In absence of proper road connectivity, the villagers depend on a crude bamboo bridge.
A survey was recently conducted by the vice-chancellor of North Orissa University Dr Shib Prasad Ratha and NSS coordinator Dr Sarat Kumar Swain, which was presented to the Governor during his visit.