Roads are coming from two sides to Pipra. One is preferred from and to Sasaram, and the other from and towards Varanasi. I have a small land still in my name near the Village Panchayat Bhawan. It’s on periphery of a large chunk of government land that could have been developed as a good park. Some families of the deprived class or with strong men have encroached upon the major part of the land in south. My uncle who used to work for Birla Jute Mills had got built a pond there with help of charity of villagers once. I wish the Panchayat could revive that as a water body through NAREGA. It could add to the glory of the village.
Besides the school that has come up in last few years, a co-operative mini- rice mill is coming up as part of the old government godown complex built by my uncle when he was Mukhia. I never knew that someone inside the village has turned entrepreneur and running a mini-rice mill also. Still the rising number of unemployed young men with little education or skill, particularly of forward castes, must be the biggest concern. I think there are still hesitant to migrate and take up any menial job in other prosperous states. The same in the traditionally backward castes are migrating out as the job opportunity in the village is getting squeezed with mechanical means taking over the operations very fast. (See the photograph of the huge harvester lying covered between the two temples) There are five harvesters in a village with total population of around 3000 beside about 40 tractors. As it appears very soon someone in the village will invest in Paddy Transplanter too.
Oldest Temple in Pipra
While the oldest temple in the centre of the village survives, it certainly requires renovation and an overall make up all around. Particularly, the drainage needs improvement. The lane to the Kali temple starts from near the temple and that is really shabby with water logging.
Kali-sthan remains the most popular place of worship that is most visited by the women of all community for various family functions as well as during festivals. On Rakshabandhan this year, there was a big function with havan costing thousands of rupees. I came to know of it as my uncle took a lead in organizing it. I visited Kali-sthan with uncle and discussed certain additional construction to make it more comfortable for those who come to worship. I consider it important, as Kali-sthan is almost the door to the part of village that is inhabited by the so-called Harijans (word coined by Mahatama) or Dalits (word more fashionable these days).
Covered hravester between two temples. Front one built by Lakshman and the at the rear one by Basdeo baba
Over the years some other temples also have come up. Lakshman was a barber who has got constructed a temple in north of the village. He was one of the most visible persons of his time. It took long time as it was through small donations from small people. But I consider that as an example of the success of will power of even a small man.
And very near to this, another temple of Hanumanji has come up. Basdeo Baba has been behind its construction. Basdeo Baba was a wrestler in his youth and he had his ‘akhara’ nearby. I did contribute to this temple Rs 20,000 for the statue when he asked me once during my visit to the village.
According to my uncle there is one more temple of Shiva in north outside the village. There is a plan to renovate it. I could not vast that.
I still pity that the major community of the village and particularly the educated lot including former headmasters and teachers don’t take interest in the school and do something collectively or individually to make it the most important landmark of the village. I have talked vociferously to get the school upgraded up to class XII. I am ready to help to any extent. A school up to class XII and Trade school must remain the focus of the well-wishers of the village.
Interestingly, some who came to meet me including Basdeo Baba suggested that I must build something in the village to perpetuate the memory of my ancestors and mine. I tried to ask them what I should do. None provided any specific answer. They left it to me. Should I go for building another small temple as someone as I can’t finance something like Akhardham? Unfortunately, I can only provide some finance but can’t remain there to execute. I am still in search of a good thing to be done by me in my village and its executer. I wish it would have been for education. I wish to happen soon.
I am sure many villages in Bihar and other states must be having similar landmarks and men like me in dilemma of doing something but not knowing what.