You Reported
Jharkhand has been victimized by corruptedly politics right from the beginning

Jharkhand Assembly Election is over. The people of Jharkhand did not give a clear mandate to any political party or alliance, which surprises many people across the country precisely because there was a hue and cry on corruption prior to the election and it was also an assumption that the people are fed up with the corruption, instability and uncertainty created by the unholy alliance, small parties and independent MLAs therefore the expectation was for a clear mandate. Unfortunately, everything went just the opposite. The corruption icon Madhu Koda's wife Geeta Koda, Enos Ekka and many other corrupt and tainted candidates won the election. In fact, among 81 elected members, 59 of them (73 %) are tainted with pending criminal cases like murder, kidnapping and theft. Therefore, what kind of governance is expected from these people other than corruption, crime and corporate terror? 


The fact of the matter is the people did not give their mandates to the corrupt and tainted candidates but they got elected only because our democracy is on sale, which was clearly seen during the election. Now even the voters know that they can sell their votes at least once in five years. There is a major shift noticed in the villagers' minds. The slogan "no development, no vote" has changed into "no money, no vote", which the political parties have legitimated by openly distributing cash and kinds in the villages. According to Narottam Kumar of Dharampur village comes under the Mandu assembly constituency in Hazaribhagh district, a candidate of the national party gave Rs.50,000 to the villagers, carpets and Rs.10,000 to women group and provided liquor to men. Similarly, in Singhbhum region Rs.1000 packed in envelops distributed to each family and even the first time contesting independent candidates spent Rs. 5 to 10 lakh and secured 5 to 15 thousand votes. 


According to the latest report, the corporate houses have spent more than Rs.300 crore in Jharkhand Assemble Election by giving money to the political parties so that they can buy the votes and bring policies in favour of them. Interestingly, the fourth realm of the democracy -the Media also adopted the culture of "coverage package", with the principle of "no money, no news". The media houses had told to the candidates that if they want good election coverage, they must pay them in forms of ads. Now, it is socially accepted that a candidate can buy the votes, voters can sell their right to vote and the elected members are free to bargain for money generating miniseries. But the most shocking fact is the Adivasis who are known for their honesty are also involved in buying and selling the democratic rights and also favouring the corrupt politicians. 


Ironically, the holy priests are also in the part of unholy business of democracy. Will you be surprised if someone tells you that the corrupt politician Enos Ekka won the election and Benjamin Lakra with a clean image contested on the ticket of the Congress lost election only because the holy priests wanted that to happen? It is fact that the holy priests mobilized the people in favour of Enos Ekka on the basis of the work and benefits that he has ensured for the holy priests when he was minister before going to jail. Indeed, many Congress candidates lost the election only because the holy priests wanted to teach a lesion to the Congress. They believe that the Congress is the real culprit for Adivasis plight, which is of course not wrong. But the question is will they welcome the operation white hunt of Sangh Parivar against the Christians only because they hate the Congress? If the Christians are attacked in Jharkhand, they should not cry foul or pray to the almighty God to save them because they have handed over their houses to the devil for taking care of. 


However, the things in the state have gone extremely wrong despite the strong secular forces prevailing in the state; the communal forces could able to grab the power. In the Jharkhandi market of democracy, the Congress, JVM, AJSU and JMM are the gainers and the BJP, JDU and RJD are the losers but the biggest loser is the BJP, who has lost 12 seats despite having favourable climate for winning the election. Ironically, the BJP was not ready to concede the moral defeat and formed government with the JMM, AJSU and JD(U). The BJP has become shameless party, who can do anything for grabbing the power. The Congress-JVM alliance did not go for any kind of horse trading despite emerging as the biggest alliance with 25 seats. It seems that they are looking for the long term politics. If they could be able to maintain their alliance, they would be in the driving seat next time.   


Jharkhand is really an unfortunate state, where an independent MLA can become the state head, any one can manipulate the public opinion for grabbing power and swallow the huge public money. Take the example of the BJP, who defended its tie-up with tainted JMM leader Shibu Soren though they had tirelessly criticized the Congress for giving him ministry in the UPA-I. The BJP president Nitin Gadkari defended the party's decision of supporting JMM leader Shibu Soren to form the next Government in Jharkhand saying that stability and interests of the people of that state were the only concerns. Gadkari said it was Congress and not Soren who was responsible for corruption in politics. But he forgets that the JMM was the part of Madhu Koda government and not the Congress. It was supported from the outside but of course the Congress can not be given a clean chit. Both the parties – BJP and JMM seem to be the power hungry therefore they can justify everything. Another twist is Bandhu Turkey, who is supporting Sibu Soren to ensure that the investigation on purchase of games and sports materials for the national game halted. Most important question is will the BJP who tirelessly cries foul on the issue of corruption, shield Bandhu Turkey? 


Sibu Soren is also unique in many ways. In the Assembly election of 2005, he had ensured the defeat of the JMM by adopting the dynastic politics and now he became another Jai Prakash Narayan in giving secular certificate to the BJP, who was the key player in the demolition of Babri Mosque, Gujrat riots and Kandhmal violence. He repeatedly said, "BJP is not a communal party". After joining hands with the BJP, now he knows that the BJP is a secular party at least better than the Congress. The question here would be if the BJP is a secular party why he was the part of the Congress alliance earlier and also did not go for the pre-poll alliance with the BJP? Can he be allowed to portray a lion as a lamb merely to grab the power? Most of the MoUs (54) are signed by Arjun Munda to sell forests, rivers and lands of Jharkhand in the hands of the MNCs and Sibu Soren fought to save these. Will he be able to save land, forest and water with the BJP supported government? Can he say that the BJP is not a capitalist party or only the Congress sold the Adivasis resources? How long Sibu Soren will carry on corruptedly politics for grabbing the power?  


Jharkhand has been victimized by unholy politics right from the beginning. The state has witnessed the unholy politics brought by the BJP, flourished during the regime of the UPA and supported by the JMM. In these circumstances, Jharkhand can be saved only through two ways – i) a new regional party emerges with the understanding of Jharkhandi culture, socio-economy and politics of the indigenous people and ii) the almighty God, who can throw light over the power hungry and corrupt politicians for resurrection of the state. The unholy politics must be stopped if the state has to address the people's issues, engineer its destiny and grow with prosperity. Though Sibu Soren seems to be enjoying on his political move at this moment but he must be ready either to be jailed or leave the chair of the chief minister within next 6 months because he would be surely facing investigation agencies and one more Tamar test (election) as well and Jharkhand would be on sale, loot and robbery once again. Indeed, the future of Jharkhand seems to be dark under the unholy politics. 


Gladson Dungdung

Divine intervention to safeguard Adivasi lands

After innumerable demonstrations and rallies, tribals have now decided to seek divine intervention to safeguard their lands. They are now turning Durga Puja pandals into a platform to protest against land acquisition.


Accordingly, Bisthapan Virodhi Nava Nirman Sangharsh Morcha, the outfit that has been spearheading the agitation against land acquisition, has printed over 70,000 pamphlets and posters to create awareness among farmers. The posters will be distributed in pandals at Gumla, Godda, Hazaribagh and Dumka, though districts falling under Singhbhum-Kolhan region will be the main focus.


Kumar Chandra Mardi, a spokesperson of the morcha, said that although Durga Puja was not the traditional puja of the tribals, the grand festival is organised in many localities having a sizeable number of tribals. And local inhabitants visit Puja pandals in the villages as well as the city suburbs, or attend village fairs, at this festive time. "So, we decided to take advantage of the occasion," Mardi said, adding that they have printed 50,000 pamphlets and 20,000 posters to be distributed in pandals in peripheral areas of the city and at village fairs.


Mardi said the morcha, which is an alliance of 37 anti-land acquisition outfits active across the state, had decided on August 24 to intensify protests against land acquisition by industrial houses in the mineral-rich state. The decision to resort to poster and pamphlet campaigns at pandals during Durga Puja was part of the protest.


"Through the posters we have tried to make the villagers understand that selling their ancestral land to industrial houses will not be in the interest of villagers," he said.


September 27 / telegraph

Superstitions keep patients away from healthcare programmes in Sahebganj, Koderma, Gumla, Godda, Garwha and Latehar


There is a cure for almost every medical condition. But how do health officials tackle superstitions?


With only 30 per cent of womenfolk living in rural areas turning up for immunisation programmes, state health officials have conceded that superstitions are keeping them away. And that is making it difficult for them to administer treatment or spread awareness among them.


For instance, many expecting mothers are afraid of taking the tetanus toxoid vaccine as they believe that it will lead to abortion or infertility, which can lead to being ostracised from society.


Such beliefs, health workers have found, were prevalent among residents of Sahebganj, Koderma, Gumla, Godda, Garwha and Latehar districts. However, an NGO, USAID, under its programme Vistaar, is working towards improving reproductive and child health in these regions through survival programmes, in association with state departments.


R Choudhary, the team leader associated with the project, agreed that superstitious beliefs were adversely affecting healthcare programmes. "We have been working in the rural healthcare sector for the past six months and so far the results haven't been very encouraging," she rued.


Many tribal women refused to take iron folic acid tablets. "Around 80 per cent of women suffer from anaemia but they refuse to take pills as they feel it would make them weaker," she said.


Immunisation of infants and children was another battle for health officials. "There are limited health services available. Women and children have to suffer due to low literacy rate and lack of decision-making powers. Besides, the infant mortality rate (IMR) is quite high. For example, in Sahebganj it is as high as 147 per 1,000 births," she said.


High death rate is mainly due to low birth weight, lack of basic knowledge among mothers, poverty, and inaccessibility to healthcare facilities and infectious diseases such as malaria and kala-azar.


Besides, nurses and midwives have to fight superstitions too. "We want to improve access to quality maternal and new-born care, improve nutrition and treat infectious diseases," the team leader said.


If only patients could hold on to this belief.


Ranchi, Aug. 5: Telegraph

Merry-go-round (MGR) railway lines for Jharkhand mines in Godda and Shaibganj

It will be quite some time before the proposed Hurashi and Chupervita open cast mine projects, an extension of the Rajmahal Coalfield Project, finally see the light of the day as the administration has not been able to acquire land for railway lines.


According to sources in Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) that has undertaken the Rajmahal Coalfield Project, the state had completed survey work of the merry-go-round (MGR) railway lines, required to ferry coal, at Hurashi in 2005. The line will connect Hurashi with Debri cabin of Lalmatiya-Farakka MGR line. A no-objection certificate was also obtained from the forest department as a portion of the land lies in the forest and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Farakka, was assigned the task to construct the 10km stretch.


"We have already deposited an amount with the land acquisition department, Godda, for giving compensations to the displaced. But the officials concerned have not taken any efforts to complete the process of acquiring land," an officials at the NTPC, Farakka, said. "In the first phase, 263 jobs have been approved for the displaced," he added.


Similar initiatives had been taken by the NTPC for laying MGR line at Chupervita open cast project on the border of Godda-Pakur, located 75km from the Rajmahal project.


The 26km MGR line will be connected to Lalmatiya-Farakka MGR line at Barhet level crossing (Sahebganj). It will pass via Sonazori, Harodehi, Gopaldehi, Tiotola, Jhabri, Karantola, Gilha, Chucchi, Kusma, Metor, Mukki, Rajapani, Barapuro (Godda), Jabardaha, Baradham, Chotapuro, Mekomudhubi, Garidehi, Piparjoria, Pokharia and Karasol's loading point.


Sources said all necessary documents for land acquisition had been handed over to Godda and Sahebganj district administrations. "Due to some technical problems, the administrations are yet to complete the formalities. As a result, the project has been delayed," a source said.


Director of Coal India P.K. Banerjee, who visited the project sites on June 9, said he had received complaints from NTPC officials about the laggard pace of work. "Coal India is trying its best to get the two important projects started at the earliest. The ECL has already prepared the blueprints of rehabilitation packages that will usher in development in the area. I will take up the matter with the higher state officials to expedite work on the MGR lines," he said.


Telegraph / June 19, 2009

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has failed to take off successfully in Dumka, Godda, Sahebganj, Deoghar and Pakur

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Centre's ambitious project to connect the rural interiors with the state's roads, has failed to take off successfully in the Santhal Pargana districts — evident from an analysis of the past two years.


In the 2007-08 fiscal, the rural works department, the nodal agency assigned for the project, managed to complete only seven out of the 87 sanctioned roads, for which Rs 100 crore had been approved.


The state had approved Rs 100.45 core for the construction of 343.44-km of roads in Santhal Pargana. Of that, only Rs 29.28 crore was spent during 2007-08. Result: Eighty incomplete roads.


The situation was similar in the next financial year, 2008-09. Under PMGSY, 111 new projects were sanctioned and Rs 84.09 crore released. However, only five new roads were completed at a cost of Rs 12.25 crore.


During 2007-08, the construction of new roads was also not completed in Dumka, Sahebganj and Pakur districts. In Dumka, 12 new roads, stretching over 65.36-km, were scheduled to be completed. Out of the sanctioned Rs 21.18 crore, the rural works department spent only 5.85 crore.


In Deoghar, during 2007-08, only four the 39 sanctioned road projects were completed. Out of the sanctioned Rs 30.67 crore, the district managed to spend Rs 4.23 crore. In 2008-09, out of 35 sanctioned roads, only two were completed at Deoghar.


Similarly during 2007-08, only one road under this project was completed at Jamtara and two were completed in Godda. During 2008-09, Rs 10 crore was sanctioned for Godda. In 2007-08, out of a sanctioned Rs 27.06 core, Godda managed to spend only Rs 2.14 crore for completing two roads under the PMGSY.


The 2008-09 fiscal witnessed no improvement. As the officials concerned remained busy in publishing tenders and completing the formalities related to the tender process.


Not a single officer in the rural works department was available for comment on the cause of such delay or non-execution of the works for the roads under PMGSY.


Divisional commissioner of Santhal Pargana Sahazanand Sharma was also not available for his comment but sources from his office said that he recently expressed his deep concern over the delay of construction of the roads under the project.


Telegraph / June 9, 2009

Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) seals Godda ITI deal

Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) today signed an MoU with the state for managing the affairs of the upcoming Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Godda district of Santhal Pargana.


Godda ITI is situated in Godda-Bhagalpur road, around 5km from the town. This would be the second such MoU signed within a week. On June 5, Tata Steel had signed a similar MoU with the state for newly built Tamar ITI.


According to the agreement, the state will provide the land and building whereas JSPL is supposed to arrange for equipment, machinery, instructors besides managing the administrative affairs. At present, courses to be offered at ITI, number of seats have not been decided but 25 per cent of the seats in the institute will be filled up through a test conducted by the state while the rest (75 per cent) will be filled up by JSPL. The steel plant will have the responsibility to spend running costs and getting affiliation from bodies like National Council of Vocational Training and its state counterpart.


Today at Nepal House in the state secretariat, the MoU was signed between director of state labour, employment & training department Kapildeo Tiwary and JSPL's head (strategic HR) S.P. Sahni. The company's director of HR K.K. Sinha and development commissioner S.K. Choudhary were also present.


JSPL's assistant vice-president Avijit Ghosh said they would start the session from February 2010. "Our effort is to enhance the skill of local youths of Santhal Pargana and of the state," he said.


June 10, 2009 / telegraph

Poor state of Boarijor block and it’s referral Hospital in Godda


Dear Friends of Godda,




I recently visited Godda and my birth place Boarijor and I was very sad to see the condition of the hospital which is at the verge of collapsing and I wrote a letter to the Governor of Jharkhand who is responsible for running the Presidential rule at the moment.


I was born and brought up in a tribal family at Boarijor and have been domiciled in UK for more than 40 years. But I still have love and affection for the people I have left behind. My father Late Ram Soren was a Manjhi of the village and Pargana of the area. He was honoured by the President of India in mid seventies for his outstanding and self less service to the local communities of the area and in particular tribal people.


He was visionary and far sighted and understood the importance of the block development office for the development of the area and its people in the Independent India. He was instrumental in bringing the block offices and hospital to Boarijor against all odds.


He gave his land for the hospital and girls school at the time of starting block in 1955 and persuaded the local villagers to part with their lands for the block offices and living quarters for the staff working there.


In mid 1980s, the government decided to shut down the original hospital which was close to the block office and nearer from the village and local bazaar. The hospital was popular and well attended and was safe for the patients and the staff.


The new REFERAL HOSPITAL was built in 1985-1986 with good intention but it was sited miles away from human habitation without consultation and informed consent of the local people. As a result, it never functioned as a hospital because the patients and the staff were afraid of working and living there.


Apart from odd out patients, the hospital buildings have been empty all these years except for one week in a year when these are used for BLIND RELIEF CAMPS by a local charitable trust named after my late father. The PARGANAIT RAM SOREN MEMORIAL TRUST has been organising these camps regularly every year with the support of Medical Welfare Society, Liverpool, UK for last 19 years. There is no infrastructure and basic amenities or logistic support available from the hospital as they have none and the patients and their attendants have to sleep on the floor. 


I have been attending these camps regularly and have watched the slow but sure decline and disintegration of the hospital buildings. There are no shutters on the doors and windows and the buildings are crumbling and are unsafe to work and keep any patients even for a very limited period. During the last camp on 14th of February 2009, we had a fright of our life when one of the walls of a veranda collapsed in front of our eyes. Luckily no one was hurt.


Apart from the deplorable state of the hospital buildings, there are no medical officers posted there on regular basis. I met 3 well mannered and dedicated young doctors during the last Blind Relief camp there. They informed me that they are on deputation but they do not live there as there are no facilities for them and their families.


If that is the state of the REFERAL HOSPITAL, one can imagine the services at the Primary health care centres and to the communities at large.


The Profile of Boarijor block:


Boarijor is one of the 6 blocks of the district of Godda and is primarily a tribal block in the Damin-I-Koh


           Total Population- 1,13225

           ST   60%    67,590 +10,800 (Paharia)

           SC   3672

           Literacy of all; 33.56% (31,134) in comparison to 54.13% of the state.

           Literacy of tribal people; 19% only


This block is one of the most backward, deprived and neglected in the state of Jharkhand and people are not awake to life and freedom in spite of 63 years of the Independence of India. The majority of the population are poor and live in the leaking thatched houses.


           Still using primitive tools for cultivation and livelihood and migrate to the surrounding states for works after few months of harvesting.


           Have no irrigation facilities and are dependant on Monsoon for their agriculture.


           There is no electricity supply to the villages except for the coal mining areas of Lalmatia (Eastern Coal Field Limited), one of the biggest and surrounding villages.


           There are schools and few colleges but the quality of education and retention of students is poor and the illiteracy amongst the tribal population is far below the rest of Jharkhand.


           Health care is poor and inaccessible for the tribal people and have to depend on private practitioners and quacks if they can afford and herbal medicines resulting in premature and avoidable deaths.


           Infants and maternal deaths are still high and unacceptable.


           There is no clean and safe drinking water which can reduce the water borne diseases by more than quarter.


           Roads from Lalmatia to Borio via Boarijor and from Boarijor to Bhuska in the west and Mirzachawki in the north are no better than when I left my village by bullock cart for England more than 40 years ago except that they were dusty and muddy then but now they are full of stone chips, gravels and ditches.


           But there is a railway track running past tribal villages including Boarijor for goods trains only to carry coal to Farraka power plants but none for the travelling public.


           No job opportunities for the majority of the local people for 9 months of the year except few hundred labouring and menial jobs in the coal mines.


           Lack of jobs nearer home have resulted in migration of work force to urban towns and cities affecting social and cultural fabrics of the tribal people and become the victims of the modern day diseases of the HIV and AIDS.


I am saddened to see the pathetic conditions of the local people who are voiceless and helpless and no one to speak up for them. There has been very little noticeable development and progress in the area.


As a native of Boarijor village, I felt obliged to bring these facts of neglect to Your Excellency's kind attention for early investigation and appropriate actions to alleviate the suffering of the innocent and the poor tribal people.


Yours truly,



Liverpool, England

You Reported

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