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Mrunal Manmay Dash

In what many may find an aberration among the contemporary breed of politicians, a Sarpanch from Odisha who made a public pledge to avail PDS rice and Kerosene at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries in his Panchayat as his pre-election promise, lived up to it after winning the election.

The Sarpanch in question is Banamali Naik from Dhumabhat Gram Panchayat under Bolangir’s Belapada Block, who actually brought ration to the doorsteps of beneficiaries exactly as he had promised before the election.

And as far as the villagers are concerned, they could not want anything more.

On Tuesday morning, the villagers woke up to the sound of tractors carrying ration and Naik, riding atop the trolley, calling out to collect their quota as soon as possible. It was a welcome change from travelling up to the Block office and wasting the entire day in queue to collect the government allotment. Rather, they could now receive the same, right at their doorstep.

Neglected for decades, the villagers had almost given up hopes on politicians to solve their misery, until Naik emerged in the scene.

“I had promised them to get their ration right into the villages. They trusted me and helped me win the election. They have done their duty by voting and now it is my turn to keep my promise,” said Naik, adding, “My work should not be construed as a flash in the pan. I am going to serve their needs for five full years from now.”

An elderly woman who had come to collect her monthly rations said, “I am extremely happy to receive it at our village. It used to take more than 6-7 hours for us to get our ration at the Block office. But thanks to Naik, we can now get it within 10 minutes now,” she said.

While it will be premature to say if Naik will be able to keep his promise for the entire five year tenure, but the beginning looks nevertheless, promising.

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