Gandhinagar: In case you are still under the belief that the ‘Vikas’ our government never stops tom-tomming about at every opportunity has actually reached every corner of the country as they claim, think twice. We’ve been visiting several villages in and around the state capital of PM Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat, and what we've seen so far is far-cry from the 'Vikas' our PM talks about.

Let's take an example of Chekhlarani, a tiny village with a paltry population of 1100 people, location 12 kilometers off Gandhinagar in Gujarat. It's been years since a public transport bus has visited this village. No rickshaws to reach there too. Good luck if you're someone who doesn't own a vehicle, as one has to walk at least three kilometers to reach the main road and then get a rickshaw or a bus to go to Gandhinagar and elsewhere.

We were welcomed with the sight of a garbage dump just as we entered Chekhlarani, which is right next to the only primary school in the village. The roads were in a pitiful condition and the buildings and structures in a dilapidated state. This might be the first such village we've come across so far, where no one works in a regular job, but all are involved in farming. A bore well is the only source of water to fulfill the water needs of the villagers.

Nobody has ever landed a government job in this village, or we guess probably never tried to get one. The only primary school in the village has 135 students studying in it. The villagers claim that this village has always got a step-motherly treatment from the government. Once the students clear class 8, they have no choice but attend schools outside the village and travel the distance either on a bicycle or by foot. This is a far bigger challenge for female students.

We found the village office, an old and crumbling structure, to be closed during our visit this Wednesday. Locals tell us that the Talati visits the village once a week. Let's hope the government walks its talk on development and ensure that hamlets like Chekhlarani don't fall out of the government's radar of 'Vikas'.

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