BARGARH:Kandhapada, a hamlet of Kashipali under Narangpur panchayat lies well within the limits of Odisha. But, except the official documents identifying them as residents of Odisha, there is nothing Odia about the villagers.
Bordering Chhattisgarh, a road of few feet separates it from Ghoghora village in the neighbouring State. Kandhapada villagers entirely depend on Ghoghora for all their requirements. In fact, Mahanadi water conflict between the two States has failed to dent the relationship among the villagers.
The village in Bhatli block, 20 km from the block headquarters, is deprived of all benefits provided by Odisha Government for the rural poor.
A visit to the village reveals the giant strides made by Chhattisgarh compared to Odisha, which has forced Odia villagers to fall back on the infrastructure offered by the neighbours. From education, electricity, consumer durables and essential commodities, the villagers depend on Chhattisgarh Government for everything.
Villagers here have no access to Odia language, the 200-odd villagers speak in Hindi and are proficient in the language. The villagers said they send their children to schools on other side of the border as there is no primary or high school in the village. They even walk to Chhattisgarh to watch television or charge their mobile phones as Kandhapada awaits electrification. They even depend on Ghoghora for daily ablution as water bodies in Ghoghora are well maintained.
In the name of basic health care, the village has only one anganwadi centre. Of the three tube wells in the village, only two ooze water while one is defunct.
In contrast, Ghoghora which is inhabited by 600 villagers is completely developed. The village is electrified, it has five tube-wells besides piped drinking water facility, on which even the villagers of Kandhapada depend. Moreover, it has proper schooling system from Anganwadi Centre to Upper Primary School where students can continue education upto Class VIII.
Former sarpanch of Kashipali Upendra Pradhan said, for an outsider the villages seems to part of an extended village. He revealed that steps have been initiated to electrify the village.