BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday launched the ‘Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana’ during a programme at Ulihatu in Khunti district of Jharkhand. Ulihatu is the birthplace of Jharkhand’s tribal icon Birsa Munda. Shah, on the third day of his Jharkhand visit, also met the descendants of Birsa Munda and gave away gas connections, solar lamps to some of the beneficiaries. He along with Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das also planted saplings there.
Speaking on the occasion, Shah lauded the state government for implementing the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “If we can’t give a developed village to the descendants of the great Birsa Munda and so many others like Nilamber-Pitamber and Siddo Kanu, then we will not be able to return their debt. Not only Jharkhand, but entire India is indebted to their sacrifice, as they kept raising their voices against the British from time-to-time,” he said.
Apart from Das, former Chief Minister and senior leader Arjun Munda also spoke to the gathering in Mundari, receiving applause from them.
“They come to us once in a while. Things get spruced up. And then things remain the same. They are coming again now. We hope that this time, the assurance becomes a reality,” said Budh Ram Munda, grandson of Birsa Munda and currently a head constable in the Jharkhand police. While his sons are studying in school in Ranchi, Budh Ram said he wanted to talk to the leaders about the promotion of two sons of his elder brother Sukhram Munda (who was later felicitated by Shah). “They were given class four jobs in Khunti. But they have now got degrees. So, they should be given posts according to that,” he said.
The programme launched by Shah would provide 136 pucca houses to the dwellers of Ulihatu and a couple of other hamlets around it. “We are providing two-room, a verandah, bathroom and toilet house,” said an official from the Welfare Department, which has undertaken the project.
While officials maintained that the people were happy with the project, some in the gram sabha claimed that they had some grievances. “We want four rooms, instead of two. And, we want their size from the present eight-feet-by-nine-feet to be 15-feet-by-12-feet,” said Samuel Purthy, a member of the gram sabha.