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Visit a village of deaf & mute, a fenced border that can't keep 3 kids away

Patrika Staff | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 5:16 IST
The stink: Rajasthan awards 'open defecation free' villages that aren't

From 2006 to 2011, Rajasthan declared 23 panchayats in Shi Ganganagar district and three each in Sikar and Bhilwara "open defecation free" and awarded them the Nirmal Gram Puraskar.

Now, a CAG report has given lie to the state government's claims. Turns out that over a third of the households in the 29 gram panchayats - 9,697 out of 27,920 - don't have toilets.

That's not all. The report also reveals that nearly 46% toilets in Banswara, Shi Ganganagar, Bhilwara, Churu, Jalore, Karauli, Sikar and Udaipur districts are defunct despite the state allocating funds for their maintenance.

Sample this: of the 4,448 toilets constructed at schools in Churu, Sikar and Shi Ganganagar, 1,605 don't work due to paucity of water.

The report also alleges that various NGOs embezzled Rs 28 lakh meant for toilet construction in Karauli region. And though this was later discovered, no action was taken to recover the money.

Another troubling revelation in the CAG report is that: in seven districts of Rajasthan, as many as 70% households lack basic toilet facilities.

Dangerous sport: 3 Pakistani kids dig hole under border fence, enter India

How difficult is it to breach the Indo-Pak border, one of the most heavily guarded in the world?

It's child's play, really.

In early September, three Pakistani children crossed the border in Kishangarh area of Rajasthan by digging a hole under the barbed wire fence.

They were found roaming in Kuria village and handed over to the Border Security Force.

The children reportedly told the BSF that they dug the hole for fun and mistakenly strayed across the border.

The incident has caused concern among security agencies, and the BSF has set up a team under DIG Amit Lodha to investigate it.

The BSF maintains a strict round-the-clock vigil of the Indo-Pak border, with sand scooters and camels especially deployed for patrols. The fence is lit by flood lights at night.

Just before the incident, the BSF had conducted an 'Operation Alert' to beef up security measures along the border.

In a remote J&K village, every family has a deaf or mute person

India is famous for its linguistic diversity but there is one village which communicates more in silence than in words.

In Dadhkai, a remote village nestled in the high mountains of J&K's Doda district, a majority of the residents are either deaf or mute.

In fact, every single one of the 50 odd families has at least one member who can neither speak nor hear.

[twittable]In Dadhkai village, every single one of the 50 odd families has at least one deaf or mute member[/twittable]

Some years ago, a team of scientists had visited the village to study the phenomenon, but failed to find any conclusive explanation. According to some experts, the tradition of marrying within the community could be the reason.

As for the villagers, some of them attribute it to pollution of the air or water, while others believe they have been cursed since of the neighboring villages are affected.

To communicate with each other, the villagers have over the years developed a unique sign language of their own.

First published: 2 October 2015, 7:31 IST