Indian villages are losing their maiden games to tourists
The village of Udhampur, in the district of Jharkhand’s Narmada district, is not the only one in the country that has seen a decline in its maiden game population.
In fact, according to the Indian government’s own data, India’s maiden games in 2020 have plummeted from 1,000 to about 500.
In some cases, the decline is due to the death of a young person, like the one who lost his life in February, 2019, when a 22-year-old girl fell and broke her neck playing the game.
According to the local official, the villagers in Udhampsur were already experiencing a decline due to a shortage of land and the loss of income.
“We are losing our maiden games because of the shortage of water.
The villagers have lost their livelihood,” the official said.
The government’s latest figures show that in the six months to April 2020, India lost 1,097 villages, or 4 percent of its total number of villages.
Of the total number, the number of young women playing the games has dropped by more than 30 percent, or 14,000.
This trend has come at a time when India is under the spotlight over the rampant violence against women.
In the first half of this year alone, 1,087 women were raped in India.
The government is also facing pressure to do more to fight violence against the women.
In September, the government announced a three-pronged plan to tackle gender-based violence: an all-out effort to increase the visibility of the issue, raise awareness about it, and put the perpetrators behind bars.
But this is not enough for some in the village.
According for the villagers, the issue has been a sensitive topic for the past decade.
“There are several issues in the area that are being neglected and ignored.
We do not have a land claim, so we have to live in a rented home,” said Prakash Singh, a villager in the nearby village of Sion.
“Now we are living in a place that is not as clean as it used to be.
We are living on our own.
There is no water.
We cannot even go to the bank.”
The villagers’ voices have not gone unheard.
Last week, in a village near Udhanga in Jharparkar district, a group of women, including the village elder, came together and announced their demands to the government.
The demand, according the elder, is that the government address the problem of the girls and women living in the villages without land claims.
“I want a land for every one of the women in the valley.
They have a right to be there, and we will not let anyone take them away from them,” said the elder.
In another village, where a man has allegedly been raping girls for months, women staged a protest on the steps of the police station to voice their opposition to the police’s inaction.
In Udhama, a village in the neighbouring state of Haryana, a woman from a village with about 200 residents said she has been struggling to survive.
“My husband is out of work, and our three children have been forced to live with me.
But we do not know where we will go to get food.
Our income depends on the game, and the government has no plan to increase it,” said her mother, Pritish Singh.”
We are living a life of poverty.
We have no food and we have not enough money.
We work as beggars to make ends meet.
We would like to save our village, but we can’t afford to do so.
We want to fight this so that there will be a better life for us in the future,” Pritika Singh added.