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Our Bureau /
Kutubpur Paharia Tola (Bhagalpur), Janu 17 : Khusbu (14), a passed out student from government primary school, Kutubpur Paharia Tola has no option to continue her study like many boys and girls in this village of highly endangered primitive Paharia tribe.
“ For continuing study students would have to walk at least 10 km most inaccessible parts to reach Kahalgaon. Parents who hardly managed two square meal for their wards here, how allow them to continue study,” told Ashok (23), a resident of Kutubpur Paharia Tola and a class 10 drop out.
Having strong population of more than 2.5 thousand Sauria Paharias, including Ashok and two others Anil and Behari, managed to complete their study only up to class 10 yet even after 70 years of Indian Independence.
“The contrast is that the than British in 1823 opened the first government primary residential school in Bihar at Bhagalpur for the wards of Paharia tribes as Bhagalpur Hill school inside the campus of Sahebganj church, outskirt of Bhagalpur city. Augustus Cleveland (1754-1784), the than collector, Bhagalpur with the permission of Warren Hasting, the than governor general of Bengal providence, started the school for the wards of Hill Rangers’ personnel. Paharias, the natives of Rajmahal series of hills in Santhal Parganas have glorious history who never came in the folds of any foreign rural in the country but for the first time Cleveland managed to win their sympathy by addressing their plights and problems. He established special hill archers troops with the Paharia youths as they were masters in archery,” pointed out Raman Sinha, a senior professor of the faculty of history in Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU).
“The natives of neghbouring Rajmahal series of hills had their influences even at Bhagalpur and the first freedom fighter against British colonialism in Asia was Tilka Manjhi who was also a Paharia,” Sinha said further.
Kutubpur Paharai Tola falling under Ramjanipur Panchyat under Kahalgaon sub-division , some 54 Km north east of Bhagalpur district headquarter, incidentally located hardly 2.5 km away from the half-excavated site of Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara, the ancient world University. “The legacy of Vikramshila still carry forward by different prosperous Buddhist countries in the world but it’s very unfortunate that the residents near this ancient seat of learning till remained illiterates,” said Shivshanker Singh Parijat, a research scholar in Vikramshila affairs.
Age-old governmental apathy and utter negligence, has compelled the primitive community members to live still in the medieval era. “We don’t have pure drinking water. We prefer toddy and earlier the women folks used to prepare liquor from Mohua to earn their lively hoods. We compelled to introduce forest products mostly roots etc, leafs and other vegetables and rats and other insects in our food chain,” revealed 70 year old Ramprit Paharia, a senior resident at the village. The three hand- pumps get dried during summer and villagers have to depend on a century old community well in the village.
Walking on a narrow strip on most inaccessible distance of some 13 km from Kahalgaon sub-divisional headquarters, Kutubpur Paharia Toal is located highland areas. Dilip Kumar Mishra, spokesperson of Bhagalpur district BJP alleged that all the government sponsored welfare projects remained defunct. For establishing his claim, Mishra pointed out all the mud houses in the village where not a single Indira Awas Unit was found.
Sub divisional officer (SDO), Kahalgaon, A C Verma was not available as he along with all the concerned officials at Bhagalpur headquarter are not available for their comments. “Hardly anyone is the interested with Kutubpur Paharia Tola and that is the reason why this hamlet is out of focus,” laments Niraj Gupta, a Kahalgaon based social activist.
Earlier the divisional commissioner, Bhagalpur, Ajay Kumar Choudhary had shown interests and even assured the media men at Bhagalpur that he would ask the district magistrate to look to the matter. But nothing has happened in this regard and the residents of this hamlet still waiting for some concrete initiatives for changing their fates.