Gurugram villages that Pranab Mukherjee adopted pay tribute: ‘We have lost our prince’ – Times of India
GURUGRAM: In July 2016, residents of Taj Nagar, a small village in Gurugram, descended on the courtyard of a government school. The occasion was special — this was the first time they would come face to face with an Indian President.
Pranab Mukherjee, then head of the Indian state who had adopted their village, as well as Alipur, Harchandpur, Roj Ka Meo and Dauhla, was paying a visit.
More than four years later, the locals are filled with gratitude for the man who laid down the foundation of development in their village.
“Mahro toh rajso chalo gayo (we have lost our prince),” Lalit Yadav, the sarpanch of Taj Nagar, said about Mukherjee, who breathed his last on Monday.
During that visit to Taj Nagar village, Mukherjee’s team had said that they wished to make these villages as good as the presidential estate in terms of environment, basic amenities, cleanliness and greenery. Four years later, some of the promises have been realised.
In Dauhla for instance, the former President helped set up infrastructure for drinking water, because of which the residents today get uninterrupted supply.
“We want to pay our tribute to the great man and pray for his soul. We thank him for the numerous development works that he enabled in the village,” said Dauhla sarpanch Bal Kishan.
The sarpanch of Nuh’s Roj Ka Meo village, Khatuni, told TOI, “The foundation of development in our village was laid by the former President. We owe so much to him. He had a special focus on cleanliness and provided extra staff and autorickshaws to enable the sanitation drives.”
Some of the development works carried out by the Pranab Mukherjee Foundation included road repairs, installation of solar panels in government buildings, upgradation of power infrastructure, skill development for youth and schoolchildren. In 2018, the foundation, which has its registered office in Alipur, also introduced a happiness curriculum at schools in these villages.
The number of villages adopted by Mukherjee’s foundation eventually rose to 100. Talking about the initiative, he had said, “I hope that my initiative would inspire many more people to adopt villages for development. I have only covered 100 villages, there are six lakh villages in the city and they are the backbone of our country and in urgent need of development.”
With Mukherjee gone, villagers are certain that his team will carry on the projects he had started. They will, however, miss his presence.