The level crossing at Daurala is to Daurala, what Begumpul is to Meerut, CP to Delhi, Colaba Causeway to Bombay, Trafalgar square to London, Times square to New York.. Well maybe you got the drift. Those are scarves in the background, chilies and other provisions in the foreground. Good to be here on a cold sunny day.
The weekly shopping trip to the Daurala Mandi.
This is Gur. The carts line up in the bazaar perhaps twice or thrice a week. Yes there is often a bemused onlooker wondering what is wrong with the chap taking photographs in this dump. Sadly these proud people, who grapple with the planet without the assistance of any corporation, are surprised to find someone who is as impressed by them as they are with themselves. Another thing, they have their eyes open even when they are not in front of a TV set. Unlike the residents of metro environments, they are still unaware of the fact that their lives are not as important as of those at whom the lens points. It is amazing how much difference there is in their well, lifestyle, from even a small town like Meerut. Make no mistake they are very proud of it. Just an example , in a nearby village ( Lawar early 1990's perhaps) the possibility of getting Electricity arose, yet the village elders vehemently opposed it for many years, and the younger set had to run their TVs on Inverters ( I have no idea how they got their batteries charged). It is now Electrified.
The man manning the level crossing is always willing to deliver a little help to friends. He lowers the gates just a little earlier than required, and that makes a marked difference in sales of the little roadside shops nearby.
Daurala Sugar works in the distance behind sugarcane fields in February. Very rural and rustic right ?... Not so fast, it has one modern utility in far better shape than in the capital.. The electricity never falters for months for the factory township - it is generated in-house from the husk remaining after crushing sugarcane.
A point to be noticed is that agriculture always produces a lot of waste combustible material which sometimes even has to be burned away wastefully in the fields, yet there is no small or medium sized steam turbine powered electricity generator easily available. Numerous generators supplying clusters of villages would alleviate the problem of electrifying villages to a large extent as well as generate rural employment directly and indirectly as electricity always does. Is some power company corporate executive listening?
In the US power supplies to rural consumers are run by local cooperatives thus creating substantial employment and shared ownership.