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THE DIE IS CAST: A report on Youth For Equality's participation in Jharkhand local body election

Kaun Kehta Hai Asman Main Ched Nahin Ho Sakta,
Ek Patthar To Tabiyat Se Uchhalo Yaron!

The spectacular electoral success of Youth For Equality in the local body election of Jharkhand has encouraged us to remain focused on our pledge of nation building programme and work for the welfare of the people of Jharkhand state. We take this opportunity to share the success story with the length and breadth of YFE cadres, supporters, sympathizers, media and common people.

There is a long history behind the success story which takes us to this juncture. The electoral success was a stunning outcome of years of work in the rural rustic of Jharkhand. Although the local body election is not fought on party banner, parties support their respective candidates. After a wide ranging debate and consideration of pros and cons, Youth For Equality decided to take part in the Panchayat election of Jharkhand in one Panchayat under the charismatic and dedicated leadership Dr. Ravikant Chaturvedi, a practising surgeon in Jharkhand.

Dr. Ravikant Chaturvedi along with his team before the election

The electoral outcome is sweeping. The highlight of the election is as follow:

  • YFE fielded 12 candidates for various posts in the Rargaon Panchayat in the Ranchi District of Jharkhand.
  • Out of the 12 candidates 11 becomes victorious.
  • The 11 victorious, who are all tribal, includes 4 female candidates.
  • YFE cadre Shri Amar Singh Munda won for the post of Mukhiya of Rargaon Panchayat.
  • Amar Singh Munda is from the Lodhma village which is adopted by YFE for its all round development.
  • The elected Panchayat Samiti Member of Rargaon Panchayat, who ultimately elects the Panchayat Chairman, is a female cadre of YFE named Savita Devi.
  • YFE candidates Thakur Prasad Munda of Darida village was elected unopposed to the post of Ward Member for Ward No.5.
  • YFE cadre Laxmi Devi, the lone casualty of YFE, was lost by a single vote.
  • YFE cadres Saraswati Devi, Shankutala Devi, Shantoshi Devi, Debanand Singh Munda, Shiv Shankar Munda, Bholanath Majhi, Rajkishore Singh Munda and Balram Munda won the post of Ward Member.
  • YFE contested against strong political forces like All Jharkhand Student Union (AJSU), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and other political parties as well as independent candidates.

Amar Singh Munda who won the Mukhiya post came to collect his
Certificate with a broken leg along with Dr. Ravikant

Victorious candidates in jubilant mood

While other political parties spent a lot of money for each of the post, YFE fought the election with a frugal budget mostly contributed by tribals and committed YFE cadres. Dr. Ravikant Chaturvedi’s dedicated team worked there day and night to ensure the electoral victory.

Raising the banner of Youth For Equality

YFE leadership in the campaigning trail

YFE candidates campaigning for the election

But YFE’s journey in the Naxal hit tribal belt was a not a simple one. To reach this electoral feat YFE never opted for an easy route. To start with YFE has adopted a village in Jharkhand for its upliftment and all round development. The initial purpose was to take care of the educational, health and employment related problems of the village. The detail of the village is:

Village Name: Lodhma
Post: Rargaon
Police Station: Tamar
Dist: Ranchi

On July 15, 2009 at 12 noon YFE formally adopted the village. The villagers have shown great enthusiasm and are very encouraged with the efforts of the Youth For Equality.

(The Request Letter from the Lodhma Village in Non Judicial Stamp Paper submitted to YFE Chief Coordinator Dr. Ravikant Chaturvedi)

After the adoption of the village by YFE, Dr. Ravikant Chaturvedi and his team never looked back and started work without rest. Although the village is just 80 kilometre from the state capital Ranchi, it was afflicted with many problems of livelihood. There were no proper roads, no electricity, no proper drinking water, no irrigation facilities, no source for self employment and no facility of Tele communication.

YFE started its work on war footing. YFE has taken one after another problem and tried to elevate each of the problems. The series of steps taken by YFE in the Rargaon Panchayat includes:

  • Digging of a pond started in the village Lodhma. The digging generated employment and storage of water in the pond facilitated irrigation. Since Jharkhand was under President Rule for long, YFE's initiative was instrumental for getting NREGA work.
  • Regular Health Check Up facility for the villagers.

  • For permanent employment arrangement, YFE in association with the Jharkhand administration invited the father of Bamboo craft Professor A. G. Rao from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Twice Professor Rao travelled to Jharkhand within a span of one year to teach bamboo craft to tribal people of Jharkhand.

    At the behest of YFE, Professor A.G. Rao visited Lodhma and prepared villagers self
    employment technique. YFE Chief Coordinator Dr. Ravikant, officials from Jharkhand
    administration along with Prof. A.G. Rao.

    Professor A.G. Rao teaching the villagers

    Village women learning bamboo craft

  • YFE’s endeavour to electrify the village taste success as transformer was placed and arrangement for electricity has been made.

    Electrical infrastructure looming in the village after YFE’s adoption

  • Construction of road started and the village has been connected with the block headquarter as well as district headquarter which is also state capital.
  • In the recent time Jharkhand has been declared as the draught hit state and state agencies started distribution of ration to villagers. Recognizing the contribution and service of YFE, the Jharkhand administration entrusted YFE the onerous task of distribution of ration honestly to the inhabitants of Rargaon Panchayat.
  • The best was still to come when local MLA, Raja Peter, the famous politician who defeated Shibu Soren in the state assembly election visited YFE Chief Coordinator Dr. Ravi Chaturvedi¡¦s home and share thought with YFE members on the development aspect of Rargaon Panchayat.

    MLA Raja Peter along with YFE activists

  • Now the village is started standing on its own feet.

Youth For Equality’s effort has encouraged the villagers to become part of the electoral process as the villagers understood the fact that it is important to become part of the democracy of the country and decision making process.

With all humility YFE maintains that it is just beginning of a long journey. In the five years of its existence, YFE has started tasting electoral successes outside the safe surrounding of campus politics. In the coming days YFE activists may not rest as there are demands of YFE presence in far flung areas of the country. In our earnest endeavour to uplift the real downtrodden we appeal to the common men of the country to join Youth For Equality for a vibrant India.

Dr. Ravikant Chaturvedi
Chief Co-ordinator
Youth For Equality
Contact No: 09905789265

Dr. Kaushal Kant Mishra
Youth For Equality
Contact No: 9871551323

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