They Have No Schools or Electricity. Yet, 5 Haryana Villages Contributed ₹51 Crore for Covid-19 Efforts

Social Commentary

They Have No Schools or Electricity. Yet, 5 Haryana Villages Contributed ₹51 Crore for Covid-19 Efforts

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

In the last few months, some of the richest villages in Haryana have made very generous contributions to fight the coronavirus. Just five villages in the state have banded together to raise a staggering ₹51 crore for the Covid-19 relief fund, a recent report has said.

Despite donating these large sums, however, only five positive cases have been recorded from these villages, with a few reporting zero cases since the pandemic struck.

Now, according to recent reports, residents of these villages have also complained that they have no access to basic facilities, even with all this wealth.

In Palra village, for example, which has donated ₹21 crore to the Covid-19 fund, residents complain that there is only one school, which takes students only upto Class X. For higher education, students must travel to other schools, which are several kilometers away, a report in NDTV said, making it a nightmare for young girls.

In Sonipat’s Sersa village, meanwhile, residents told reporters that they only get electricity for two hours a day, and that the village doesn’t even have a primary health centre. This is despite their donation of ₹11 crore to the Covid-19 relief fund.

The reason why these villages are so flush with cash is because they are the frequent target of land acquirement projects. Palra, the report says, still has ₹23 crore left after their generous contribution to the fund.

Another of these villages, Bal Jattan, is 15 km from Panipat. Since it’s home to an Indian Oil Refinery and a number of plants, Bal Jattan is among the richest villages in Haryana, with over ₹125 crore in its account, The Print reported.

Still residents told the website that the refinery and chemical plants in surrounding areas had led to serious health concerns in locals. “The village has enough money, but we only need permissions to carry out development activities in the village,” the panchayat was quoted as saying in the publication.

After making such generous contributions, hopefully, the state government takes notice, and the panchayats are able to develop the villages further.