LUCKNOW: Residents of a non-descript hamlet, hidden deep in the ravines of the Yamuna in Kanpur Dehat had once participated in a wedding function four decades ago. But thanks to abject poverty, residents of adjoining villages declined from marrying off their daughters to the bachelors of the hamlet now known as, ‘village of bachelors’.
Murlipur, a small village of just 100-120 has at least 50 people, aged between 18 and 75, who are bachelors. “We attended the last marriage function in our village some 40 years ago when Baldaoo got married,” says 62-year-old Ram Sanehi. “I was just 22 then,” he adds.
Asked if he ever tried to get a bride for himself, Sanehi, who owns a small piece of farm land, says that his poverty never allowed him to do so.
Ram Sanehi’s claim was substantiated by Uma Shankar Yadav, 75, the oldest bachelor in Murlipur. “Here majority of males are bachelors. Few, who got married, had done it surreptitiously by moving to other developed towns and districts like Etawah, Mainpuri, and Agra,” Yadav chips in.
He adds that another major reason for the village not having any marriages was the terror of dacoits. “This hamlet was once dacoit-infested as it is perched in the ravines of Yamuna. They used to strike at will,” Yadav says. Consequently, no one wanted to give their daughters to us,” claims Jamuna, 70, whose three sons are bachelors.
A basic primary school is the only testimony to the fact that the village exists in government records but it has long remained neglected. The nearest primary and secondary school is 20-25 km away from Murlipur. The nearest hospital and police station are some 20 km away.
Despite mobile phones being available, the villagers hardly use them because they have to rush to the nearby town to get them recharged.
“My son Avadhesh works at a private dispensary at a nearby town. Couple of years ago, his marriage was fixed in neighbouring Amraudha village. But at the last moment, the girl refused as there is no power here and she was fond of TV soap operas,” says Raja Yadav and adds that the list of the likes of his son was long.
Sadhari Yadav, 65, another bachelor, rues that his wait will not end in his lifetime. “I have no one around me. Living life in solitude is like hell,” he says.
Chief development officer Kedar Nath Singh acknowledges that Murlipur has been deprived of basic amenities all these years. He assured the villagers that he would do his bit for their upliftment.