Reportedly, members of a Dalit community were given soaps, shampoos and perfumes to clean and wash themselves ahead of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to their village a few days back.
The CM had visited ‘Musahar Basti’, one of the poorest in the state, in Kushinagar district, where majority are known to be ‘rat catchers’ who are considered ‘untouchables.’
The villagers revealed that they were quite surprised to see government officials thronging their village. “New toilets were constructed, dusty roads were made pitched and lights were installed within no time. We were also given scented soaps, shampoos and perfumes and asked to use them before going to meet the chief minister,” residents told The Indian Express.
Keshri, a 60-year-old resident of the village told The Indian Express, “I got the soaps from the Anganwadi women. I didn’t get the shampoo, but others did. I was told to take a bath with the soap before going for the meeting. We already use soaps, which we buy from the local shop. What’s going to change with just two bars of soap?”
As per reports, it has been said that the villagers live in penury that too without basic facilities like clean drinking water. Children in the village often suffer from diarrhea. Two years back, hand-pumps were installed only after cholera broke in the village.
The district magistrate, denying that any such official order was issued, said told The Indian Express that a programme was organised to promote cleanliness and put and end to open-defecation. “All Anganwadi workers and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) were given instructions to promote cleanliness, which is crucial to stop diseases like kala azar. So, whoever distributed the soaps has to be appreciated.”