The district administration took initiative three to four years ago to construct roads in this village but the landowners refused to give up their land which led to the frustration of women in the village. The women took matters into their own hands and constructed a road for the village in just three days.
Nima village in Bihar’s Banka district lacked proper road facilities even to reach the nearest medical facility which led to a lot of deaths, especially pregnant women. “It (lack of a road) was especially painful during the rainy season,” a Nima resident told Telegraph. “We could not even get to the block headquarters, hardly 2.5 km from our village. Many deaths have occurred—especially of pregnant women—as they could not reach the health centers in time.”
“Some three-four years ago, the local administration did initiate land acquisition to build a road but due to protests by landowners the plan had to be abandoned,” Jhalo Devi, a Nima resident, told the Telegraph. The landowners who would not part with their land, hence 130 women from the village took an initiative to build the roads on their own. With little help from the men, they managed to get all the paperwork done with respect to the lands and the women began the construction process. They got all the required resources and started constructing a 2km road. “Many women from the two villages, Jorarpur and Durgapur, also joined us. The men in our homes first completed the groundwork. We carried sand, soil, and stones from the riverbank nearby and barren lands. We would start work at sunrise and end in the evening. Now, light vehicles can easily ply on the road,” Usha Devi, another resident of Nima told the publication.
The district administration was pleased with the efforts of the women and the district magistrate Kundan Kumar told the publication “It was impossible to build the road without taking the private land, but the government could not just acquire it. However, when the village women initiated the road work, the same landowners gave their consent.”