I am back from a quick vacation at our native. Like all other villages in India, our village is also undergoing series of changes, most of them not positive. This post lists few of my observation
Labor problem is intense. Most of the agricultural activities are delayed/abandoned due to non availability of work force. Unemployed people, educated or otherwise, find it tempting to go to nearby city, than seek some work in fields. Machines are replacing people wherever possible, like this paddy cutting machine. It neatly crops paddy plants, separates paddy grains and the plants and effectively finishes work in 2 hours as against what would have taken 20 workers 1 full day earlier.
The primary school where I studied, has lost most of its buildings and ground to the highway construction project. An alternate building is being built, but according to the former head master, there’re very few kids. No one is poor these days and can afford to send their kids to far away convents in school buses.
Most of the fields are getting converted into plots and houses are being constructed
Variety and quantity of birds which we used to spot has dropped heavily. Read: Birds at our village- set 1, set 2
Decades ago, relatives of village people, who’d settled in cities would visit village during annual vacations, so that their kids can connect with their roots, enjoy the village environment and play with their friends/relatives in the villages. This is no longer the case. City people are no longer interested in spending weeks at villages. Kids either go to summer camps, or spend time at home watching TV/playing video games. Though village homes now have most of the amenities like TV, roads and so on, they find village homes are not clean and neat enough. Also village environments do not seem to excite city kids much anymore. They want to go back as soon as possible.
We never had the concept of apartments earlier- everyone believed in buying a piece of land and constructing a house on it. Now I saw 3 different ads about upcoming apartment complexes. Land mafia is also getting very active- buying bulk land from people at low prices and exploiting it commercially.
Highway is turning to be fatal. A 4 lane highway project is in progress. Accidents are on the rise due to various reasons
· To take a turn, now one needs to drive 2-3 kms extra. People are not used to this concept and find it more convenient to drive on the wrong side.
· Bus shelters are not ready, people wait by the roadside. Buses make abrupt stops to pickup passengers
· Crossing the road has become a nightmare for people due to speeding vehicles. FOB/Subways don’t exist
· All roadside trees are cut for highway. Now people need to walk in hot sun. Construction work is nearly halted, as AP politician, who owns the construction company is in jail.
Everyone has a mobile now and mobile towers can be seen every few kms. DTH penetration is also significant.
Marriage is becoming a problem for youth if they aren't working in cities. Not many girls wish to settle in villages on a permanent basis
Watch kannada movie Puttakkana Highway to know the impact of highway projects on villagers