You Reported
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

About Godda District of Jharkhand State

Godda district is situated between 240.47' to 250.23' Northern Latitude and between 870.08' to 870.48' Eastern Longitude in the map of India. Spread over an area of 2110 sq. Kms and having the height of 100 .414 metre. from sea level, Its eastern part from north to south is covered with forest whose area is 239.34 sq. Kms . and is a hilly track. Its western side is plain . The district is bounded by the district of Sahibganj in the north , Dumka district in the south , Pakur district in the east and Banka and Bhagalpur districts in the west.


            Out of the eight Prakhands of the district Boarijore and Sunderpahari fall under Area, which has special status and revenue law due to different socio-economic, ethnic and cultural values. The two blocks according to 1991 census   have 63.03% and 80.52% tribal population respectively on the hills and plains . Among the rest six blocks, Poraiyahat  has also 35.79% tribal population. Thus the three blocks - Boarijore , Sunderpahari & Poraiyahat  together extending from north to south in the eastern part of the district shared more than 50% ( That is 1142 sq. kms. ) of the geographical area and divide the entire district distinctly in two parts . The predominating features of the tribal region, whose major part is covered by the Rajmahal hill range is rocky, infertile and dotted with hills heavily eroded slopes and degraded forest.




            The primary occupation of the aboriginal tribes (adivasis) is hunting, sheep - rearing, animal husbandry, gathering of forest produce and traditional agriculture. The soil is of a very poor quality and is not well suited for cultivation except that of north - west part of the district owing to undulating topography. The tribals inhabiting this region following there traditional way of living , social habits and economic practices are mostly small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers having little productive assets and mostly they have been identified  as poorest of the poor. They are also exposed to exploitation of various kinds and remain no better than hewers of wood and drawers of water.


History -


There are no of stone weapons and tools such as axes, hammers, arrow-leads or agricultural implements found in the Santhal Pargana obviously confirmed the fact that like other parts of the world this region too had experienced the living of stone age and certainly would have been the inhabitants of this region during early  Vedic age .


            Any record of inhabitants if  available is the Indica - an account of travels of megasthenes, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya at Patliputra in 302 B.C and identified the race inhabiting the area has ''Maller'' (Souria Paharia). Detailed account of this region until the time of Hiuen Tsiang - a Chines pilgrim, who visited Champa about 645 A.D ,is not available. During that time the area of Santhal Pargana was under the Pal region which was the great patron of Buddhism . It was the time when the Vajrayan Sect of Buddhism was at its extreme exaltation . Signs of devi worship are available in the area which clearly signifies that the area had an impact of Buddha religion and Tantric sect. Immediately after this there is no record  of the area for many centuries . But there is an interesting reference to it in the Brahmanda Section of   Bhavishyat Puran which was probably compiled in the 15th or 16th century A.D from ancient materials.




            During the period of Turko-Afgan rule when Shershah Suri and his heirs were  the administrators , this area was of strategic significance in course of getting possession over Bengal . Later on under Muslim rule this area was received as Jagir by Viceroy Raja Mansingh from Mugal emperor Akbar .However as regards the development of culture and civilisation the area remained abandoned till the British regime set in.  The Britishers understood the strategic and economic importance of the area and thus started exploiting the jungles of the area in full force . In the beginning, the aboriginal Paharia tribe proved an   obstacle to such economic exploitation of the Britishers . By 1717 the Santhal tribe which inhabited in chhotanagpur were initiated to settle in Santal Pargana by the Britishers for countering the obstacles created by the Paharias  and they got success in it. But the Santals to gradually became victim of Britishers policy of exploitation and they being united rebelled against the Britishers  in 1855 which was termed as '' Hul ''. This rebellion was so terrific and troublesome for the Britishers that they were compelled to accord Santhal Pargana the status of district  separating it  from Bhagalpur and Birbhum protecting basic facilities of aboriginal  tribes and their sicio-economic structure and tradition.


Present -


Godda is mostly famous for the Rajmahal Coalfields in Lalmatia. Its and integral part of Jharkhand and known for its hills and small forests. The mine present here is an integral part of ECL coalfields and is among the biggest of its own in whole Asia.


Until late 80's godda was full of forests and was a remote place far from science and technology and was living in a dark age as other districts of Jharkhand. The entire scenario changed after coal was first discovered under the rajmahal hills in abundance by a team of Geological Survey of India. Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd conducted a detailed survey of the area. The Rajmahal Opencast Coal mine project was conceived in early 1980s, initially to supply coal to Farakka Super Thermal Power Project of NTPC, with an initial annual capacity of 5 Million tonne. For expansion of this coal mine project to 10.5 million tonne per annum, an agreement was signed between Coal India Limited and Canadian Commercial Corporation in January 1989 where MET-CHEM Canada Inc. was designated as the Canadian Executing Agency for implementing the project. The Project has been completed in July 1994 and presently being run by Eastern Coalfileds Limited personnel. Presently this mine is producing 11.5 million tonne coal per annum. This is being expanded further to 17 million tonne.




Two more mine opencast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Limited are coming in Godda district, (1) Chuperbhita opencast coal mine project ( capacity - 4 million tonne) and (2) Hurra 'C' opencast coal mine project (capacity - 3 million tonne).


ECL has its huge base in Urjanagar a govt colony inhabited by 10 thousand people. Famous Shaktipith Maa Yogini is just nearby Pathargama.




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