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City in Focus: Meham

City in Focus: Meham, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

25th August 2014

Naya Haryana

Meham or Maham is a Municipal town of Rohtak district and is located on Highway No. 10 and is just 100 kms from Delhi. The town goes long back in time and also finds mention in the Mahabharat. In fact, some years ago, there was a significant archaeological discovery in Daksh Kheda, near village Farmana Khas that apparently dates back to Harappan civilization. The discovery brought a lot of attention to the area but since then there has been no further discoveries or development of the site.

Unfortunately, the very mention of Meham brings back memories of the ugly violence witnessed in the run up to the assembly elections in 1990, however, a lot of time has passed since then and people have moved on.

Meham is the centre point of a lot of political activity and the Chaubisi Khap has a strong influence on the politics and social matters of the region.

A story of neglect

So why has Meham been left so far behind in development, when compared to towns like Rohtak, Bhiwani and Hisar? Why have the local politicians and people not been able to assert their political influence in developing Meham town?

Meham today is a picture of neglect despite having a lot of potential for tourism, industries and handicrafts. Meham is a town of missed opportunities due to state neglect despite being located on Highway 10. The main problem is availability of clean drinking water. Wherever water pipelines have been laid, they are broken at various places and poorly maintained.

Another problem that is further compounding the already-serious water shortage is illegal access to the pipeline water by a few people. This is causing a major problem in the area with unequal availability. The district administration has failed to curb this illegal activity and has done little to increase water supply to the town.

Poor health and lack of healthcare

Recently, another problem came to light during a survey conducted in Rohtak district. The survey revealed that 84% of college girls in the district, which included girls from Meham, were found to be anaemic (low level of haemoglobin in the blood). This is a very serious issue and one would like to know what the state government has done to address this or is this just another report that will gather dust?

Meham lacks a modern hospital in the area and patients with serious illness have to go to Hisar, Bhiwani or Rohtak for treatment. It is surprising that the political rulers of Haryana have ignored Meham for so long at the cost of people's health. Why has there been no attempt to establish a government hospital with multi-specialty?

The area lacks colleges for higher studies and the local residents have to take admission in other districts or go outside the state, to access quality education and training.

Meham lacks an industrial zone and therefore there is almost no industrial activity, barring the odd sugar mill. With poor electricity supply and no rail connectivity it is not surprising to see the backwardness and lack of development here.

The youth are mostly unemployed and have no options for any extracurricular activity like sports or any other cultural involvement. Some go and join the army but most of the remaining youth are wasting their potential.

Traditional crafts ignored

All traditional strengths of Meham have been progressively marginalised over a period. There are certain products from the area that had built a reputation over time. Take for instance, the famous Razai of Meham which used to be in great demand all over north India. Did you know that Seman village was known for its pottery products? And for its famous Kundi used for making chatni? Why is it that the state government has let these traditional strengths in handicrafts die, when these could well have been encouraged to evolve further?

All these years Meham was not even connected by a railway line! Only recently the railways have announced a railway line to connect Rohtak-Meham-Hansi. The foundation stone for the line was laid on Aug 01, 2013.

A new beginning?

So, can Meham find its way to being a developed town with its citizens contributing to a progressive society? The answer is yes.

Most of the underdevelopment is a result of poor planning and lack of political will. If Haryana has to develop, it must take an integrated approach to development that is sustainable and optimizes all locally available resources.

The Naya Haryana vision takes into account all of Meham's potential strengths and shortcomings and we believe it's possible to develop Meham as a progressive town.

With the new railway line being laid, this is a great opportunity to set up an industrial zone in the area that can be a feeder to bigger town areas of Hisar, Bhiwani and Rohtak. Besides, with NCR rapidly growing, there is enough potential for Meham to re-establish some its traditional industries and crafts.

The industrial park should encourage the youth to set up SMEs (small and medium enterprises). This has to be supported by a technical training institute in the area that can act as a feeder for technical manpower to the entire region.

In addition, there has to be training facility for women entrepreneurs. This has to be a complete mentoring program that will provide complete training and guidance to young women to set up small units. There is a lot of potential if the women can be engaged in developing the state and it is our endeavour to include maximum participation of women.

There is an urgent need to have a modern hospital set up in the area either by the government or private sector. The hospital will meet the local requirements besides reducing the pressure on hospitals in Hisar, Bhiwani and Rohtak. On a priority basis, the issue of anaemia in young women needs to be addressed. We plan to set up an advisory cell for pregnant women, as also, regular girls and women, to advise them on nutritional issues to fight anaemia. This can be further supported by subsidized nutritious meals at the school level.

Mokhra village is known for its wrestlers; therefore, it makes great sense to set up a modern facility to train young wrestlers. This itself could attract a large number of young enthusiasts and incentivise them to achieve glory for the state and themselves.

Meham has great tourism potential in developing Daksh Kheda, the Harappan site, along with Jani Chor ki Baoli, which dates back to Shah Jahan era. Then there is the Chaubisi ka Chabutra which can be of tourist interest. All these can be part of a larger circuit to bring tourists to Meham and thereby opening up further employment opportunities in the area.

Naya Haryana will see a rejuvenated state emerging, as we have the political will and administration capability, to ensure that Haryana as a whole will progress and contribute significantly to nation building.

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