India's last villlage -- Mana. Photo/ANI
India's last villlage -- Mana. Photo/ANI

India's last village pins hope on PM Modi's visit to address its woes

By Sahil Pandey | ANI | Updated: May 20, 2019 00:13 IST

Mana (Uttarakhand) [India], May 18 (ANI): Bhutia community, residing in India's last village on Tibetan side named Mana village in Uttarakhand, feels neglected and cheated. They claim the government has not fulfilled a single promise made to them in the past.
They are also annoyed with the attitude of bureaucrats. They say the government has been promising to develop Mana for the tourist purpose for long but so far it has failed in its attempt.
Situated at an altitude of 3,200 meters, Mana village's climate is very rough. It is very hard for people to survive here in winters.
"Due to the harsh climate, our survival becomes very difficult, especially in winters. The government has failed to provide us transportation facility, electricity, and other basic amenities," BS Badwal, a local, told ANI.
"I think Article 370 just like Kashmir should be levied here too. No hospital, no schools. where to go? For every little thing, we have to go to Badrinath and our condition is such that we could not afford travel expenses," he added.
Mana village is 3-km away from Badrinath. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day trip to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples, every family has one appeal to the government -- to boost employment opportunities for their children.
"Six months we stay at the height and other six months we stay at the lower belt of the Valley. We knit sweaters and do farming but have no facility to sell our products. No employment facilities for our children...We are not getting any benefits from the government welfare schemes. Buying a monthly ration itself is a very difficult task for us," a local said.

Chamoli District Magistrate Swati Bhadouriya told ANI that the government's initiative to turn Mana into a heritage village is under process."We are planning lots of things for Mana as the village has a potential. Here, houses are made of wooden and they are nicely maintained. We can even take it up for homestays and we can develop it as a heritage village on which we are working already. Even we can construct a museum here," Bhadouriya said.
In contrast to villagers' claim, the DM said the state government has been continuously working for the development of the Bhutia community.
"Weaving is the traditional art of Bhutia community. So we have developed a common facility centre, where the weaving of silk can be improved to increase the market availability of the product."
Earlier today, the Prime Minister took stock of the Kedarnath re-development project. He is scheduled to visit Badrinath temple tomorrow.
Modi's visit to the holy shrine comes a day before 59 parliamentary constituencies including Varanasi go to polls in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The results of the seven-phased polls will be announced on May 23. (ANI)