NUAMALPADA: A village steeped in backwardness
UAMALPADA (Balangir): This village has just one country boat with the help of which, the 135 inhabitants connect to the mainstream. The boat, the only mode of communication, can only carry three persons at a time. Despite the State Government laying thrust on improving rural connectivity, Nuamalpada village in Bagdor gram panchayat in Belpara block of the district is a shining example of the administrative neglect.
The village is inhabited by 23 Gond and Binjhal tribal families, all BPL, who take help of the boat to reach the panchayat headquarters to collect government aid like old age pension or rice under Antodaya Annapurna Yojana. Surrounded by forest on three sides and water of a minor irrigation project (MIP) over Ganjadharjoar on another side, the inhabitants cross the water of the MIP to reach Banmal village from where they procure their essential commodities.They eke out a living by fishing in the MIP and collecting non-timber forest produce (NTFP) from the forests. A primary school was set up in a thatched house in the village in 2008. The school has seen no renovation since then as no official ever visits it. Altogether 30 students are enrolled in the school from Class I to V and there is one gana sikhyak. Students often drop out after class V as they have to traverse on boat and walk down another 8 km to reach the nearest high school. Moreover, one has to pay ` 20 for travelling in the boat.Septuagenarian Sendra Majhi of the village said at times the boat ride is costlier than commodities. Worse, the village has not been electrified till date. Even as villagers have drawn the attention of the sarpanch and the district collector to their plight, no remedial measures have been taken yet.
Belpara BDO Sanjulata Behera promised to take up development works in the village once she receives fresh financial allotment.