South Kashmir | Remote Kokernag village votes to see 'electric bulbs' glowing

Representational Photo

Situated atop the Pir Panchal mountain ranges with gushing waters of Brengi stream flowing beneath it, the remote village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district rarely sees ‘electric bulb’ glowing.

The village with 200 households was electrified a decade ago.

However, the dangling wires tied with trees is the only power infrastructure in place here so far.

As the winters set in, the village plunges into complete darkness.

“Life here is very harsh with no proper road connectivity or health facility. The absence of electricity makes life more difficult,” said 80-year-old Ashraf Khatana.

On Sunday, Khatana, braving the winter morning chill, walked to the polling booth to cast his vote for a District Development Council (DDC) candidate with the hope that his progeny does not suffer anymore.

“We are promised heavens before the elections, but once we elect them, they forget us like we don’t exist at all,” he said.

Khatana said he was hoping against hope that this time around things might turn change for better for his children and grandchildren.

Like Khatana, people who turned out to vote, have only one thing in mind – basic amenities.

“We expect nothing. At least don’t deprive us of road connectivity, water, health facility, and electricity in the 21st century,” says 70-year-old Aslam Chaudhary.

He said they had been moving from pillar to post for electric supply but to no avail.

“We don’t use electric gadgets for heating and cooking purposes but rely on traditional Kangris and earthen stoves. What we want is power to light up our bulbs only,” Chaudhary said.

He said they also want their children to study the way people of other villages do.

Gudainard, Magam, Sondbarie, Ahlan and Gadole were among very few remote villages where people turned out to vote. In the rest of the Breng-Kokernag area, Soaf, Nagam, Hangalgund and Vailoo, there was no such enthusiasm as people preferred to stay away.

The block has been reserved for women and on Sunday, the voters sealed the fate of five contesting women candidates.