Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will celebrate Diwali with the Vantangiya’ community, residing in the remote villages under dense ‘Kushmi Forest’, about 90 kilometres from Gorakhpur.
This is what he did in the previous years as well. The community that had been consigned to neglect and poverty for years, had found a friend in Yogi Adityanath and the bond has strengthened over the years.
Adityanath, who visits the community every Diwali, armed with sweets, books, stationery items, and other gifts for the children and villagers, has ensured development of the area after he became chief minister in 2017.
Yogi Adityanath not only ensured them voting rights but also provided them dwellings with all basic and required facilities after he became the chief minister.
The forest-dwelling community had neither land for cultivation nor permission to construct anything other than a hut. Moreover, the community did not even have any evidence on the basis of which they could claim to be the citizen in the largest democracy.
It was again Yogi Adityanath, as MP, who took up their cause and decided to settle health and education services at these places. He effectively prevented Naxalites from establishing a base among the Vantagiyas.
The Vantangiyas were brought here by Britishers to do forestation for a cheap supply of wood on government land.
They derived their name ‘vantangiya’ from the word ‘van’ (forest).
Over the years, they have earned their living from this forest. These villagers were settled in the five areas of Kushmi Jungle namely Jungle Tinconia, Rajahi Khali Tola, Rajahi Nursery, Ambagh Nursery, and Chilbilwa in 1918.
Yogi Adityanath took the initiative and provided the mobile medical service of Guru Sri Gorakshnath Hospital to the Vantangiya community.
The initiative was started in 2003 in Jungle Tinconia and was later extended to other areas.
After he became chief minister, Yogi Adityanath provided the status of ‘Revenue village’ to Vantangiya villages and once this was done, these forest villages became entitled to every facility that the common citizen gets.
The chief minister has further ensured facilities like housing, roads, electricity, water, schools, Anganwadi centres, and RO water machines for the Vantangiya villages.
Every resident now has their own house, agricultural land, Aadhar card, ration card, cooking gas under the schemes launched by the government. Children are studying in schools and old age people, widows and Divyangs are getting benefits from the pension scheme.