Ache Din? Jammu village reels under darkness even after 70 years of Independence


By Ashish Kohli

India is celebrating its Independence but in Jammu and Kashmir there is a village that is still living in old age and wants independence. ‘Kundail’ a village in Kishtwar District is still waiting for their Acche Din. From the time India got its independence this village and the neighboring villages are waiting for telephone lines. In their village there is no mode of connectivity, they lack electricity and telephone lines and use satellite phones.

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Every year in month of August, the 30 km Machail Yatra starts from Gulabgarh village (base camp) to the holy temple of Chandi Mata in Machail Paddar.  Between these 30 km there are many villages like Kundail, Atholi, Palali and many more small villages lying in lap of beautiful mountains. But this natural beauty lacks basic amenities which are provided to every citizen of India by the government. The people living in these villages are waiting for the telephone line from last 50 years.

Every year more than 2 lakhs pilgrims do the holy Machail yatra and for this yatra duration electricity, medical facilities etc are provided to the pilgrims in every camp but these facilities are not provided to the villages there. The road is also made this year only for 10 km patch near Gualbgarh.

“I did my education till 8th from Palali Village, 12 from Atholi and now I’m doing my graduation from Jammu. It’s been years my village has got no electricity, no medical facilities and no telephone lines we use satellite phones here. Every year during the time of yatra lots of people come here and do promise that our problems will be solved but nothing happens. When yatra starts medical camps are set up here but after yatra here is nothing” Said Bal Krishan resident of Kundail Village.

We are living in 21st century and in big cities, we cannot imagine our life without mobile phones and there is a village that doesn’t even have telephone connectivity. We have to watch television, charge our mobiles and want to sleep under Air Condition rooms but there are people out there who did not even knew how Air Condition feels like and what  changes electric power and telephone connectivity makes in our day to day life. India has got independence in metro cities only because villages are still struggling everyday to survive. There are many more villages not only in Jammu and Kashmir but in whole India who are still waiting for the technology.