Ranchi : It is a lesson in self-reliance. Tired of petitioning the government, residents of a Jharkhand village pooled in their resources and constructed a bamboo bridge over a river.
Villagers of Chapala in Garwah district, around 140 km from here, constructed the 80-feet-long bridge on a rain-fed river to avoid the communication problems they face during the monsoon.
"We made several requests to the legislators and members of parliament, but all we received were just assurances. We called a meeting of the panchayat on May 14 this year to discuss the issue. Then the panchayat gave the go ahead for construction of the bridge," said Satya Narayan Yadav, a villager.
Echoing him, Sadashiva Gupta, another villager, said: "We decided to collect money and arrange bamboo to construct the bridge. With the support of villagers, we collected materials and built the bridge in 48 days."
Nearly 70 people were involved in the construction.
In absence of the bridge, the villagers had to swim across the river. Even the children had to swim to school.
"There was a high risk of drowning. We were scared to send our children to school during the monsoon. A child had drowned some years ago," said Malti Devi, one of the villagers who helped in the construction of the bridge.
The villagers now hope the government will wake up to their plight and construct a concrete bridge to solve their woes permanently.
"The bamboo bridge is a temporary one and only a concrete bridge can solve the problem," said a villager.