Himansu Shekhar Rout

Upset over a lack of development in their area, Juang tribals in Keonjhar staged protests in a different way in front of the Collectorate on Tuesday. As a mark of protest against the alleged apathy of the administration towards resolving their issue, a group of tribals from Telkoi block staged a unique demonstration by performing songs & dance in the Juang dialect and beating their traditional 'changus.' 

As per reports, over 500 people of the Juang tribal community live in Godinarda village under Telkoi block. However, they have been suffering a lot in the absence of a pucca road. They alleged that ambulances are unable to reach the village during medical emergencies. Patients and pregnant women are often carried either on slings or on shoulders to hospitals. Electricity is still a dream for the tribal village, they complained. 

Though the residents apprised the block administration of the urgency for a pucca road and electricity in the past, no step has been taken, they alleged.

As their repeated pleas fell on deaf ears, they resorted to agitation to draw the attention of the district administration toward their routine woes. 

Hearing their complaints, the Collector reportedly assured them of taking necessary measures to provide road & electricity connectivity. 

“The road to the village is nothing but a cart track. People have to negotiate with such a road on a daily basis while going to the panchayat office 12 km away.  From there, they have to carry loads of PDS rice on their shoulders to the village. Ambulances can't ply on the road,” Ramakant Juang, a local resident lamented.

Collector Ashish Thakare said that the road condition will be assessed. “Earlier, we had sanctioned 47 approach roads in the hard-to-reach areas. We will examine their complaints and take appropriate action,” he added.

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