On the Campaign Trail-15: May 9 Bhopal: Meeting the Nishad community
May 9, 2019, The last day in Bhopal: Meeting with Nishad community
Early this morning, my host Ajay Ji took me to his farmhouse situated about 20 KM outside of Bhopal. Farmhouses are not a big deal but the reason I wanted to go there was to see firsthand work done by Ajay Ji for the upliftment of the village. Three years back he had made a presentation at a GIBV seminar about his efforts to empower the villagers.
Ajay Ji has built three lakes to store rainwater, built a road, encouraged children to go to school and runs children’s camps. The success rate is quite high. Determination of one man can do wonders.
upon our return from the farmhouse, we went to the Hanuman temple in the development where I was staying. There I had a chance meeting with Sadhwi Pragya Ji who had come to offer an Aarati.
I also had the pleasure to meet with the young leaders one more time.
From electioneering point of view, my last day in Bhopal was mostly wasted. The day before, we had decided to meet at 2 PM, to go around to meet more business leaders. Since I was going to be home till then, the host insisted that I take lunch at their home before leaving. however, as I was about to sit down for lunch, I got a call that we had to leave right away (11:15 AM) and I should rush. So I skipped lunch and went over to the office. We piled in the car and were driven to where all government offices and secretariat are. At short notice, it was decided to canvass the government employees during their lunch hour and also have accompanying rickshaw with a P.A. system. There was already some confusion because Digvijay Singh was also supposed to be there for a rally, We waited for a long time while our leader tried to get the vehicle with the P.A. system to come where we were; it never happened. We wasted 90 minutes and in the meantime, Digvijay Singh’s caravan came in, so we decided to postpone the idea to next day. It was a super hot day, so a glass of cold sugarcane juice did wonders. Our leader contacted several businesses for setting up meetings but was not successful. So he left us at BJP election headquarters (different than Sadhwiji’s election office) to relax. The place had big air coolers but it was pretty much deserted. A couple of guys were taking a nap on sofas. maybe, rest were in the field.
finally, at 6:30 PM we were asked to go to a Muslim dominated area where a Hindu Nishad community (fishermen) lived. There are only a handful of families that live near the Muslim majority area but they were determined and strong. A group of lady volunteers that we had accompanied took the local ladies to go for door to door campaign in that difficult terrain.
I took an early morning flight back to Varanasi, this time, via Hyderabad!