Hope Govt schemes will reach poor in real sense; say voters in Mandal, Miran Sahib

Voters standing in queues outside a polling station in Mandal block of Jammu district. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Voters standing in queues outside a polling station in Mandal block of Jammu district. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Govind Sharma

JAMMU, Dec 10: Keeping hope in their hearts that after DDC elections elected members will ensure that various Government schemes are implemented on ground and reach to poor in real sense, people of Mandal and Miran Sahib blocks cast their votes in fifth phase of DDC elections held today.
The polling began on a dull note at 7 AM but after one hour, voter turnout picked up and long queues were seen in almost all polling stations of Mandal and Miran Sahib blocks. Apparently, women voters were more vigorous to cast their votes as queues of women voters were even longer than men at some polling stations.
“Majority of the families here in my village are dependent completely on agriculture but rarely we got benefit of any Government scheme. We have heard there are many schemes of Agriculture Department under which subsidized seeds and fertilizers are provided to farmers but we did not avail any such benefit and nobody from the Agriculture Department ever visited our village and told us about such schemes,” said Ram Lal of Surechak while coming out of polling station at Government High School (GHS) Surechak after casting his vote.
He expressed hope that the condition of the farmers will improve after the DDC election and farmers will get benefit of all Agricultural schemes. He said in case of any complaint, they can directly approach the elected DDC member as he will be one of them and not outsider.
At polling station Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) Mandal, Koushalaya Devi of Mandal said that Agriculture and Horticulture offices in their block mostly remain closed and only once or twice a week, the concerned officials open the offices. They hardly pay field visits and aware public about Government schemes, she alleged and regretted that nobody questions them. She hoped that elected DDC candidate will ensure that these offices are opened on every working day and schemes meant for the farmers reach to them.
Alleging bungling in a new scheme initiated by the Modi Government under which every farmer is getting Rs 6000 per year in three equal installments, Ravi Kumar, an educated son of a farmer at polling station GHS Sohanjana said that many Government servants in their village have managed to enroll themselves in the list of beneficiaries while several deserving farmers are not getting the benefit of the scheme.
“I raised the issue with all the DDC candidates who came to us to seek our votes and I am hopeful that whosoever won the elections, this grave public issue would be looked into seriously and all those deserving farmers who are deprived of this Government scheme will get benefit of the same,” he asserted.
Standing in a queue at a polling station located in GHS Simbal in Block Miran Sahib, Shanker Singh, a 75 year-old farmer said, “There is no accountability in Government offices. If you go for a work at any office, you were told that the concerned official is on leave, come tomorrow. There is no timing of opening and closing of these offices. It seems that these offices have been opened only to give jobs to these officials and not for benefit of people as no body even listens to you in these offices.”
“Hoping that this situation will improve in Government offices after DDC elections, I have come to cast my vote after walking a distance 2 km,” the old man said.
At polling station GMS Tarsopur, Rakesh Sharma, 32, said that many poor families in his village are deprived of welfare schemes initiated by UT or Central Government while several well off people are taking benefit of the same. It should be investigated, he said and hoped that the elected DDC members will take care of the same.
Heading towards polling station established at GMS Kullian to cast his vote, a progressive farmer said that Government schemes remain on papers as the concerned officials who are supposed to take the same to the deserving people take it for granted. Only 5 percent farmers take benefit of these schemes while rest 95 percent remain deprived of the same, he alleged and expressed hope that this scenario will improve after DDC election.