By Nidhi Rauthan
The term “Freedom” holds great value, it’s the most significant thing in order to achieve independence, to be a success, to improve and it’s definitely worth fighting for. Indian history is majorly about freedom struggle and in order to achieve that, people have been through a massive scuffle and suffering, be it breaking the harsh and cruel fetters of the Britishers, clutching our country under their paw of rules which led to the segregation of India into, India and Pakistan or the fight for statehood.
“Uttarakhand” consists of 11 hills which are further separated into two regions, the Garhwal and the Kumaon region. Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Haridwar, Pauri, and Dehradun comes under Garhwal whereas, Nainital, Almora Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat and Udhamsingh Nagar, falls under the Kumaon region. All the districts come under hill region except for Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar which are plain areas. But it was not like this always, the state “Uttarakhand” was initially a part of “Uttar Pradesh” which was carved out of it in the year 2000. The matter of separation of the hilly region from the plain region in Uttar Pradesh was first demanded in 1930.
The idea behind this segregation was to focus on the development of those neglected areas in the hills so that every place could be taken care of which was not possible otherwise. The hill regions under Uttar Pradesh were being deprived of basic necessities and the rate of unemployment was at its peak. The official paper works used to be processed in Lucknow during that time due to which people faced difficulties to come all the way from Garhwal and Kumaon to reach there, moreover ruined roads and the lack of facilities added to their complications. In August 2000, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha along with the President of India approved the Uttar Pradesh Reorganization Bill 2000 in the Parliament of India, presented by The Central Government. The bill became an act and it was headed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
A new state “Uttaranchal” was formed from the pre-existing state Uttar Pradesh, on November 9, 2000, under Bharatiya Janta Party, government. Dehradun became the capital of the state whereas Nainital became the judiciary capital. It’s been 17 years since Uttarakhand became an independent state, but the question is that after so many riots, rallies, demonstrations, violence, and bloodshed, have we achieved the main agenda of all the efforts that were made? On the positive note, scrutinizing the current development status of Uttarakhand, it is the second fastest growing state in India with Per capita income of ₹1,03,000.
Being the Devbhoomi, with mesmerizing places like Mussoorie, Nainital, The Valley of Flowers and the holy pilgrimages, Kedarnath, Badrinath, the Panchprayag, etc, tourism in Uttarakhand is one of the main sources of income and has increased in past few years therefore government pays much attention to the facilities of tourists and development of those places.
The Tehri dam in Uttarakhand generates 1,000 megawatts (1,300,000 hp) of hydroelectricity is used as a reservoir of water apart from generating electricity; it is one of the guest dams in the world. The capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun is among the 100 Indian cities which come under the Smart City Mission.
However, the dream that our ancestors saw for our state, the prime objective hasn’t fulfilled even after 17 years, there is way more left undone, Uttarakhand consists of 86% hills but the yield does not correspond to the area, the reasons for that being first: lack of agricultural education, the majority of farmers in the hill region are still deprived of proper agricultural knowledge and new methods of farming, therefore they are unaware about class how one can get more outcome in lesser amount of water, manures and efforts. They don’t know the nature of the soil, it’s pH level and which soil is ideal for which crop, and still depends on the ancient methods of farming that leads to the wastage of their time and investment moreover, the improper water supply that is significant for farming, especially the modern ways of agricultural that includes, drip water irrigation, sprinkle water irrigation and proper drainage system, which needs to be provided by the government to the poor farmers. Second reason being, the migration which is the results of the first reason, people don’t find profit in farming also, their fields are destroyed by the wild animals and monkeys. There are 1,048 completely abandoned villages in Uttarakhand and many where people can’t contact and are without electricity and roads.
Coming to the basic education, according to the survey of 2011 literacy rate in Uttrakhand is 79.63% whereas there are 15,331 primary schools with 1,040,139 students and 22,118 working teachers, but these are just numbers, majority of the schools are in the main town’s students from the villages gave to travel miles on foot to reach there, the condition gets worse during the rainy season when there is heavy flow of water and maximum chances of landslides, many children have even lost their lives in the same situations in the villages. The children may have registered themselves to the schools but the reality is most of the students don’t visit those government primary schools because checking is the rare process, the fake data is also maintained so that the schools don’t get shut down and the teachers employed there don’t get jobless, the students in the villages are not given proper knowledge and preparations to give the competitive exams.
Another vital necessity, ‘hospitals’ again are at great distances from the villages not just for humans but for the cattle as well. Recently a family living in a village of Rudraprayag whose expenses depended on a cow, couldn’t find a doctor for it who was in a critical condition for almost three days, and when finally the doctor arrived the only way of income of their house died. Again in a village also in Rudraprayag, a pregnant woman had to give birth to her baby on the bridge as she couldn’t reach the far away hospital on time neither did the ambulance arrived. It’s sad to say that only 68 % health centers function well.
The main purpose of the segregation was the development of the hilly area; it’s incongruous that those regions are still in reduced circumstances.
Greatness is not about showing pride in what we have, what we are good at and what we have achieved instead it’s in looking forward to the area in which we are lagging behind, where there is the scope of improvement and what is yet to achieve.
“Let us strive to improve ourselves, for we can’t remain stationary, one either progress or retrogrades.”
~ MMe. Du Deffand