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    Tribal villages ail on several fronts

    DHENKANAL: Administration in tribal- dominated villages of Gondia block in the district is in a shambles. Be it employment or education infrastructure, residents of Sorisapada, Chatighar, Bhanragada, Kolha and surrounding villages are finding survival difficult sans succour from the Government.Irregularities in the implementation of NREGS and subsequent unemployment has been an issue in the region for quite sometime now. Harassed, the tribals travel to Cuttack or Tangi scouting for jobs as daily wage workers. Dambari Guia, resident of Chatighar, said the villagers go outside the district for employment as local jobs are scarce. “We were issued job cards but there is no job,” he alleged. “Only a select few find employment under NREGS,” Guia added.The region lags behind in education as well, Chatighar primary school with a dilapidated structure being a prime example of administrative negligence. The school is also reeling under lack of teachers. Sarva Sikshya Abhijan officials are allegedly meting out step-motherly treatment to the school, with any chances of renovation of the school building or construction of boundary walls seemingly far-fetched. Even Food Committee members have never visited the school, alleged a local Mami Dehury.Similar situation prevails at Bhanaragada village. The absence of an anganwadi centre here has hit the children hard who suffer from malnutrition. Employment scenario is no better as Dusana Dehury, a villager, said declaring Kapilas Reserve Forest a sanctuary had affected rural life. The villagers now refrain from entering the forest for collecting firewood and fruits, Dehury said. With unemployment giving way to penury, parents encourage children to drop out of school and find work instead. Even children below 14 years of age work in road construction projects. DRDO project director Bishnu Charan Prusty feigned ignorance on the plight of the villagers and irregularities in NREGS while Sarva Sikshya Abhijan District Project Coordinator UN Dash said he would look into the issues affecting the education sector.