Malnutrition, jaundice, other serious ailments haunt this Adivasi village in Jharkhand

By Rizwan Arif

Potka (Jharkhand) [India], Dec 4 (ANI): Situated approximately 25 kilometres away from Jamshedpur, the Khariakocha village in Potka assembly constituency, surrounded by hills and forest, is a habitat of Sabar tribe, popularly known as Sabar Basti, but life in this village is really pitiable.

Most of the children in the village are malnourished and adults are suffering from life-risking ailments like Jaundice, Typhoid, Malaria, etc. as they lack basic infrastructure facilities, education and proper source of income.

The villagers are forced to walk several kilometers on foot in order to get medical treatment as no aid from the authorities reaches the area if someone falls sick.

A group of local social workers conducted a survey last year and found that the health of inhabitants are in deplorable conditions. Notably, the Sabar community depends on the forest for everything including their health.

Inder Sabar, a 40-year-old had never seen a doctor visiting his place until last year. "Last year, social workers brought doctors here. Apart from that, I have never seen a doctor here in these days. Due to lack of money and facilities, we treat ourselves by the herbs available in mountains. If it fails, we die," Inder told ANI.

Although Khariyakocha isn't very far from main cities like Jamshedpur or Jadugoda, no leader goes to the village for the campaign. Despite all the odds, the villagers go to polling stations, mostly far from their village, to exercise their franchise.

"Everyone is exposed to serious diseases like Jaundice, Malaria, and Typhoid. We have never received an opportunity to see a government doctor in our village. The election has come. Still, no leader came here," Raghu Sabar, the only male who passed high school in the area, said.

Adding that due to lack of infrastructure facilities, no one goes beyond the forest for higher studies, Raghu said: "Due to financial crunch, children can't afford to study further. Selling woods get us money as our livelihoods are dependant on the forest."

However, there's a ray of hope for the underprivileged as social workers from Jamshedpur and Jadugoda have adopted the village. With their intervention, the administration has started to show a positive approach towards the villagers.

"We have given a letter to DC and furnished all formalities of adopting the village. We are trying our best to improve their health issues. Regularly, we are having medical camps here. These problems are mainly due to the lack of basic facilities," said Sujeet Singh, a social worker who is among one of those putting efforts for the betterment of Khariyakocha.

The Potka constituency, along with the other 19, will go to polls on December 7. (ANI)