Time stopped long back in Tembhali, so did change. Tucked away in obscurity despite being located close to Shahada, one of the important cities in Nandurbur district, the tribal village remained virtually oblivious to the world beyond its boundaries.
Now, prior to the prime minister’s visit, it has been pushed into the first forward mode and made to skip to the present, leapfrogging across several evolutionary stages.
For a change, the government machinery has been the instrument of change. Senior government officials, a rarity here, have been camping for over a week to ensure that ‘development’ is in place. A concrete road has come up magically in the last 15 days—officials proudly claim it to be pothole-free.
The vehicle population here consisted of just three bikes earlier; more than 100 SUVs stay parked inside and around the village at the moment.
The village also has got its first landline connection. It was installed a week ago. Subhash Sonawane, the proud owner, says: “Prior to this, we had a few mobile phones in our village, but I am the first and the only person in this village to own a land line. I am so happy that I cannot express myself.”
For Malabai, wife of Subhash, the landline is a reward from the government for his husband’s hard work. “I am proud of my husband. He works so hard for the people of this village. Finally he has been rewarded,” she said.
The school, which was almost abandoned, has been renovated. The students have been given uniforms and books. They are flaunting I-cards too. The authorities have installed special water filters in the school.
Ten days prior to prime minister’s visit, the government has launched its Indira Awas Yojana in Tembhali. It has prepared a list of 200 people in the Below Poverty Line category and displayed it on the wall of the gram panchayat office.
The authorities are claiming that 59 of them have already been allotted houses.