Pinki’s Oscar to bring drinking water, power to her village

February 23rd, 2009 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh), Feb 23 (IANS) As “Smile Pinki”, a short film about a cleft lip girl - Pinki Sonkar from Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur Dabai village - won an Oscar, her undeveloped hamlet has come into limelight and authorities Monday committed to provide it with roads, drinking water and solar electricity.
Pinki Sonkar, whose cleft lip made her a social outcast, plays a protagonist in the “Smile Pinki” by American filmmaker Megan Mylan.

“As Pinki has given an international recognition to Rampur Dabai village in Mirzapur district, the government has decided to undertake several developmental projects for the welfare of the villagers,” Mirzapur chief development officer Jaswant Singh told IANS.

To give the village a facelift, developmental schemes will be undertaken in a phased manner. Initially, the upcoming projects will focus on providing potable drinking water to the villagers, the official said.

“The village has been grappling with water scarcity for the last several years. But, now we would dig up ponds, install hand pumps and re-bore old wells to ensure villagers get adequate water,” said Singh.

According to officials, the Dabai village has a population of around 2,000 people. Most of the people are poor and work as labourers for their livelihood.

As a part of development, the district authorities will also renovate the primary school in the village to ensure students face no problem.

Concrete roads will also be laid down in the village. As most of the localities in the village plunge into darkness at night, the district administration will also set up solar streetlights in the village, officials said.

“You just wait for the next four-five months, the village will have everything in the name of basic amenities,” said Singh.

Village head Pradeep Vishwakarma said, “We owe Pinki a lot. By her accomplishment, the girl is going to change the village forever.”

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