Fed up with false promises of political leaders to provide their village road connectivity, the villagers of Rokhar in Nainital have started road construction work on their own.

Many migrants have returned to their native village during the lockdown period and are participating in the campaign with zeal and interest. The Rokhar natives have so far created about 1 km-long road fit for movement of two-wheelers and the target is to extend it to another 6 km.

During election time political leaders and parties to wooed villagers promising to construct a motorable road to the village. The speeches raised hope among locals. But, once the polls were over the political leaders used to disappear and this time the same thing happened.

To teach political parties and leaders a lesson, Rokhar residents united and created 1 km road and are determined to continue another 6-km patch.

Rokhar village pradhan (head) Yogeshwar Singh Jeena says: “Daily about 60-100 villages render community service to construct the road. We start work around 9 a.m. and conclude by 5 p.m. These days our village is packed with migrants, who have returned from metro cities to their ancestral village in the Kumoan hills.”

Using basic digging tools, used for agriculture works, the villagers are engaged in a dream project.

Surendra Jeena rues: “Nothing has changed in the village, since I left two decades back. Our people are still struggling for a motorable road.”

The survey of the road connecting Rokhar was conducted in 2008, but due to lack of coordination between different government departments the project failed to take off.

Leaving little options before the locals, they started road digging work on 15 July and continue to work without break even in monsoon.

Mumbai-return Chander Jeena, who works in the hotel industry, encouraged the locals and asked them to join hands for the project. These days unique camaraderie exists between the villagers.

Rokhar is located about 26 km from district headquarter Nainital. In normal times the population of the village is about 250.

But, after lockdown Rokhar has witnessed an all-time high attendance (about 550).

An inspiring lockdown story from a remote village in Nainital is shaping up. The target is making the community create road to Jalalgoan. The distance is still 6 km away, but the villagers aim to achieve the goal by Diwali.