Towards the west of Ghaziabad’s Loni, close to the Delhi border, lies a small village called Mirpur Hindu.
A cobbled path followed by a potholed concrete stretch gives way to a kilometre of well-constructed, gravelled road as you reach the village, which was adopted by General (retd) V K Singh, the MP from Ghaziabad, in 2014 under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana through draw of lots.
Since then, a lot has changed, and a lot hasn’t.
Eighteen-year-old Afsar Ali sharpens knives in his free time while pursuing a BA degree from a Loni college.
“There is no denying that roads have improved and electricity has become more regular. But there is no proper educational institution and we have to travel outside the village for it. We were promised a degree college, but we are still waiting,” he said.
With two private schools up to Class XII and a government school till Class VIII, education here is a recurring problem, say villagers. “We send our children to either Mandola or Loni. The girls have to travel alone. If a proper, affordable establishment was here, we wouldn’t have to rely on the outside,” said Nazreen, a resident.
An MBA graduate, Dolly lost the mayoral elections to a BJP candidate in 2017. A former BSP MLA from Ghaziabad, Suresh Bansal joined the Samajwadi Party recently and was announced as the alliance nominee from the district the very next day.
In Mirpur Hindu, shop owner Sandeep Kumar claims a functioning hospital would be a blessing for the village.
“VK Singh has visited our village many times and I appreciate the work done on water supply. But we don’t have a proper hospital. I remember once rushing my wife to a Loni Hospital eight kilometres away. It doesn’t seem that far but during an emergency, even a kilometre is long distance,” he said.
A building where vaccination drives occasionally take place is supposed to be the location for a new hospital to come up in the future.
The village pradhan, Monu Tyagi, said: “We believe a lot more could have been done by VK Singh, but the village had seen no development before it was adopted.”
General VK Singh did not respond to multiple calls seeking comment.