This is Ulhas River – the river that cuts of Bendse village from the rest of Karjat District. No points for guessing, that the villagers have to cross Ulhas River to get connected to the rest of the world. But the state government failed to build an over bridge here. Left with no option take a look at what the villagers did to cross the river. Looks like a believe it or not situation but its true. The villagers tied two ropes from across the river and now commuting out of the village means – treading the risky and dicey ropes. It’s been 60 years but not an ounce of India shining has reached Bendse village. In the year 2001, the State PWD Dept. had built a road connect to Karjat District but villagers have to walk for over 6 km distance. To save time and money, students and working villagers of Pendse village choose to walk 2km and go to Bhiupuri instead. And there is only one way to go to Bhiupuri from Pendse village – the way that cross Ulhas River. So in the year, 1980, the villagers put up ropes on Ulhas River. For nearly three decades now, the stories of Pendse village have been doing rounds, but they never seem to reach the deaf ears of their leaders who sit in the offices of power but fail to do justice to the masses, again and again. Everyday for the last 28 years, commuting from their village to the other means that children, women and senior citizens and villagers walk the ropes of Ulhas River. The ropes that are narrating the story of 61 years of Indian Independence and what the system, leaders and the celebrated progress have given or rather not given rural India. With cameraperson Vikrant Baile – Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.
January 31, 2010