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Inadequate livelihood opportunities key concern of people in President Murmu's village; Mayurbhanj goes to polls on June 1

Mayurbhanj: The hot topics in Odisha politics are alleged corruption in 5T and Jagannath Heritage Corridor Project, non-Odia origin of BJD leader VK Pandian, but it seems the people in President Droupadi Murmu's native village Uperbeda would vote on local issues, such as the inadequate livelihood opportunities, irrigation, education and health facilities.
This village falls under Mayurbhanj constituency which goes to polls on June 1 in the seventh and last phase of the Lok Sabha election.
Some villagers said they are ready to support those who honoured their village as well as the district by making Droupadi Murmu the President of India.
Youths in the village must have opportunity for employment because several educated youths here are unemployed, said Droupadi Mandal, who studied with the President in the primary school of village Uperbeda.
People in the village are dependent on rainwater for agricultural works, she said and hoped irrigation facilities would be improved.
Terming President Murmu as pride of the village and the district, Mandal said the President should work for village, state and the nation.
"I studied with Droupadi in school and met her several times after she became MLA and Governor. I have not met her after she became the President of India. The President will definitely meet us whenever she visits the village. She is a good friend of mine," said Mandal.
For the development of village, people here (mostly engaged in agriculture) need irrigation facility so that they could get employment round the year, said Sushil Kumar Giri, neighbour of the President at village Uperbeda.
If a lift irrigation facility would be available here in the village (because the river is on downside) then dependency on rain water could be reduced, said Giri.
A college is also needed in the village as youths have to travel several kilometres for higher studies, he added.
Apart from basic amenities, the village needs a facility for farming and employment, said villager Mahendra Giri, adding that installation of borings would be helpful for villagers in agricultural practice.
Odisha is rich in minerals and if any facility is being installed here in the state then why would we migrate to other states in search of job, said Jitu Giri, youth residing in neighborhood of the President.
School needs to be upgraded, and college should be opened, he said.
If proper irrigation facility (like development of ponds and installation of bore-well) would be available in the village, then agricultural activities will be carried out round the year, said Jitu.
Several youths from the village have migrated to other states in search of job and this problem could be resolved with ensuring the facility of irrigation and installation of rice-mill, said Surendra Nath Mandal, resident of village Uperbeda.
With the arrangement of irrigation facilities, people in the village are also going to engage themselves in the cultivation of cash crops, believe Mandal.
Development should be undertaken in the village so that people do not have to leave village for jobs, said Sipun Mandal, resident of President's village who is going to exercise his voting right for the first time.

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