Sunday, July 7, 2013

A journey to Badoli(Gujrat) - last part

  part 1

  Part 2

Day 3 : 

We got up around 5 am. In last two days we talked to many people , but we never got any chance to talk to two major castes. Brahmins and Harijans. So this time, we decided to do something different and that had really helped us to get a different picture on the other side of village. By 6 am , we went toSwami Narayan Mandir and Jai MataJi temple, near the cooperative society. And this time , god came infront of us as Hasmukh Giri, the priest in that temple. When we told him that we came to see the village and to know about the life of people here, he took us to the house of harijans . He gave us information about a persion called IndraSingh Rathore , who is helping the villagers to sharing his knowledge. 

First we went to Indrasingh Rathore’s house . He is an NIFT alumnus. But he stays in the village and teaches  handicraft to Harijans and tribals there. They make statues of coconut fibre. So far around 321 people have got training in handicraft and he is teaching more people.Last month he had exported ‘200 coconut fibre kiwis ’ to New Zealand.He had shown us ‘how to make a bird in 6 minutes’. If we had never seen him, it would have been a big mistake from our side. (I am planning to write a separate post on Indrasingh Rathore and his works in village later).
A masterpiece of Indrasingh Rathore
Shailesh with Indrasingh Rathore and Hasmukh Giri

From there , we went to Harijan Colonies there. One thing we noticed in this village is both brahmins and harijans are living together.We met a person called Suthriya Punjiram Haribhai. He has an NGO named  Akhila Bharathiya Anthim Vikas Samithi.It works for helping a family to perform cremation of body (if they need financial help)  and help  the widows among Harijans. From him we got the ‘harijan’ version of development in Gujrat. As I had heard before, the politics in Gujrat is splited on caste basis with upper caste/patel supporting one party and the Harijans supporting another . One caste praising the government for all the developments while the second caste is struggling to live. They are feeling that they were ignored by government.
A person working on weaving machine - Weaving was their main source of income till 1991

Most of the Harijans were engaged in weaving job till 1991. LPG had really changed their life. When India changed its financial policy to the so called phenomenon LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation) , people who had some professional skill managed to improve their lifestyle ,while the second group, who were struggling were totally thrown out of the equation. In 1991, around 250 families of Harijans were engaged in weaving and similar jobs where as now there are only 2 families doing the same. Others were forced to go for jobs like brick manufacturing and other daily labour jobs as they were not able to get earnings from weaving. We have also seen a small handweave industry which was forced to shut because of the negligence of both central and state government.

After talking to him, we went to the private hospital in the village as that is the only place left in our list to visit. But , on our way,  we met a person called Rajeev Kumar. Infact he was waiting to meet the two strangers who came to see his village. He too had a story to tell.The Harijans were having a co operative weaving industry called Sri. Mahathma Gandhi Gujrat Seva Mandal. It was working fine for the first few years. But later, when control of textile Industry was moved from State Government to Central Government, they lost all the subsidies and other support.For the last ten years he was trying to contact the officials to get approval of various papers. But central government office is saying that they have not received the paper from state government and state government is saying that they have given it at the time of transfer of control from state to central. They somehow managed to work it till 2010, but finally closed its functioning as they were not getting any help. We didn't not know why he came to us and told the story. He might have thought that we might be some journalists and so we might post it on newspaper.Anyway we could say one thing. He represents the frustration of the unemployed mass of India. I really wish government will take some action and make the industry work again. 

After listening to Rajeev's story, we  went  to hospital.   We met the doctor there and talked to him about various diseases in the village , major health issues faced by children etc. He explained everything to us.(Without taking consultation charge!!!) 

Thus, by 2 pm, our trip got finished , collecting almost all the data about the village. By this time , we had became so famous that people whom we didn’t even know came to us and started to ask did we like their village. When we were about to leave, Shailesh told that he wanted to stand in next panchayat election as everyone will vote for him.

As we felt everyone is over, we went back to our rooms and took rest. In the evening, when the vetinary doctor came, he gave us details about number of cows and buffaloes as of last census and other details like how they are treated by co operatives etc. At night the same process repeated. We went to the same place where we used to sit and talked to all for hours. We had started to feel sad, as we had to leave on next morning.

Day 4 : 

 We woke up around 4 am and got ready. We had decided to start our return journey by 7 am.We had told  Sanjay, Sid (Siddharth),Amit  and Santhosh to reach Idar City. We had planned to visit Ambaji temple also before going back to campus. Ambaji is a famous temple in Gujrat, just like Thirupathi in Andhra Pradesh. Everyone in the village had told us to visit the temple and told that the godess there is very powerful. Everyone reached Idar by 8 am. And we had planned to go to Ambaji in GSRTC Bus (Gujrat State Road transport Corporation Bus).But Amit told he didn’t like to come, due to some personal reasons.But we had decided to visit temple as we never get a chance like this again. Personally I was very happy that I got a chance to visit one of the famous temples in Gujrat within a week after reaching Gujrat.Ambaji temple is at Gujrat Rajasthan Border. It is a big temple with Amba ji (Durga Devi- I am not sure about the goddess , but I think so ) After going to temple, we got a bus from Ambaji to Anand. we came back to campus by 9 pm.  

 Thus, by the end of the trip, we had met almost all groups of people , visited important schools,hospitals and temples in the village. We had seen the agricultural field and Goshaala, and the mineral water plant.More importantly , we got a few good friends and a few days which we always like to remember in our life…. Thus we got a chance to breath in a bit of Gujrat…


  1. hey solitary walker. have recorded every moment of your trip..literally!!
    after reading yours even i am thinking of writing a blog..its been a long time!!

  2. You're spending your time better than all of our friends ever will. Can't wait to find out you're future experiences. Don't stop writing.

  3. splendid depiction of your journey in Gujarat,I agree the Development or the so called Gujarat Model for Development have been Biased..

  4. Easy read Sumodh. I completed it in a single go. It gives a laymans narration and I was able to get a direct picture. Keep up!

    (A small suggestion : Tag all these kind of articles 'gujarat_diary' (or dairy!) or something for a quick pick. )

  5. Nice yar, you did a good observation of village and narrated it beautifully..Waiting for blog on present village trip:-)