Mamata visits Amlashol, first by a CM in 10 years

Ten years after she visited West Midnapore district's Amlashol village as an Opposition leader in 2004 after five Sabars died there of starvation during the left Front rule, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday landed in the remote hamlet on Bengal-Jharkhand border on Tuesday with a promise that no one will again starve there.

This was the first visit by a chief minister in 10 years to the village.

Mamata Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a road, which will connect the village to the 16,000-km rural road network planned by the state government.

She also handed over land pattas (deeds), seed packets and Rs 1 lakh cheque for building houses for the Lodha community members. Despite the area being considered a Maoist hotbed, Mamata refused to climb on the podium that was erected there for the visit. Instead, she mingled among the villagers and spoke to them.

The rural hamlet has now been promoted as a "model village" by the state government where pitch roads, eight tube wells, one pump, a ration outlet and at least 25 concrete houses have come up. While the nearby villagers are still devoid of power, Amlashol has got electricity network. The village has 89 houses and electricity has reached 88 houses, as per government records.

In fact, all the state government departments worked on war footing in the area for last two months - ever since Mamata announced that she will visit the village.

Even though, the village has witnessed a lot of development in last two years, the villagers are still to get a permanent source of livelihood.

Twenty-two-years old Malati Sabar still suffers from 'malnutrition'. Malati's father Somai Sabar and her elder sister Sambari Sabar were the first victims of starvation in the area in 2004.

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