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jayapura

Picture credit: The Hindu

[First published in The Hindu dated May 31, 2015]

Jitu Banbasi is a happy man today. A member of the Scheduled Tribe Musahar community, from Jayapura village in the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradeshhe lived in a makeshift brick house earlier but is now entitled to a pucca house painted in bright yellow and cobalt blue in Modiji ka Atal Nagar.

Treated as outcasts earlier, often denied even drinking water by upper caste village residents, the Musahars cannot but thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi enough. For it was after he adopted the village, about 30 km from his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, on November 7, 2014, that the seeds of transformation were sowed. Now Jitu is eagerly awaiting the formal inauguration of the colony so that he can occupy his new house. Thanks to the new houses, villagers too are treating the Musahars with more respect, he claims.

Journalists from Delhi are visiting Jayapura in droves to study “development” — Mr. Modi’s model of development — which the village epitomises. Villagers admit that the flurry of developmental activities in the last seven months has been unprecedented. Most homes in the village have got new toilets, and houses for the poor have been constructed, undertaken mostly by Corporate Social Responsibility wings of major companies.

Jayapura was little heard of until the Prime Minister adopted it.

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