Just 10 kilometres from the Varanasi district headquarters is Kakrahiya village – know for its wrestlers, strong RSS base and now, on Tuesday, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third adopted village under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). “Kabaddi is also a prominent sport here and two from here have already played at the national level. Sandeep Kumar is playing at national level,” said Ramjeet Patel, village head.
The village has around 2,200 people and most belong to the backward classes. Of these, the most are Patels and Rajbhars. Just about eight per cent belong the general category and two per cent are scheduled tribe. The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has an almost 40-year history with the village. But even longer is its history with wrestling. So much so that the place is known as the “village of wrestlers”.
“We have had an akhara (wrestling ring) for over 100 years and more than a dozen wrestlers have participated in national and international events. Ram Asrey Yadav is presently representing India,” said Patel.
“A wrestling coach from the Sigra stadium of Varanasi city visits for three days every week to coach the players here,” said Manoj Singh, former village head and a BJP leader in the area. He added that staff from the Nehru Yuva Kendra had come visiting recently to find a suitable site for developing a well-equipped stadium as well.
But the village with muscle had a few niggles and if the prime minister were to visit now, he would find that a lack of a proper approach road is a concern. “To reach the market, villagers have to travel eight kilometres over difficult terrain. A three-km pucca road was to come up but this has faced land acquisition problem. I wanted to give application in this regard to CM on Sunday, but I could not speak to him because of security restrictions,” Patel added. “With the prime minister adopting the village, we are hoping for a high school too. Today they have to travel 15-km for the nearest high school.”
Meanwhile, Manoj Singh claimed that companies have invested in the village under their corporate responsibility scheme and supplied cooking gas. “At present, every family in the village has LPG and electricity connections,” he said. On Sunday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the village where he inaugurated a ‘Nand Bhawan’ in the village and distributed solar ‘charkha’ to women and school uniform to the students. He had formally informed the villagers about PM’s decision to adopt it then.
Residents, however, said they were expecting the announcement for nearly a year as Patel had claimed that officials had told him of the development last year when he had met Modi. PM had earlier adopted Nagepur village and Jayapur village.