Unseen Passage: The Face of Village India

Thirteen years ago, when the then American President Bill Clinton drove down to Rampur Mani Haran village in western UP, he had come there to open a women’s polytechnic, funded by a prominent NRI. Today, the Bill Clinton school stands bright and shiny on the same campus, among low slung building that, house libraries and class rooms. According to the School President Raj Kamal Saxena, there are 565 students studying under CBSE of whom 234 are girls. Besides the local folk, the affluent families across the social spectrum sent their children to this institution.

The success story of the school in the area has given rise to a spate of educational institutions along the road from Shamli to Saharanpur. All of them promise to unlock exciting career options especially for the landed class of the area. These schools carry trendy names and have sprung up in the years after the 42nd President of the US came calling. Sitting amidst sugar cane fields and mango orchards they present a picture of society trying to change.

Despite such a positive social factor visible in the area, there is little evidence of all round changes in the area. The roads are battered and dusty. The dream of an all weather road remains a dream. Steady power supply is unthinkable and traditional industries are now on a decline. Added to these are the problems of governance such as law and order situation.

According to locals, people in the region are looking for a change. The driving force behind this urge for change are the youth. Most of the young men who have returned to the area have been educated in Delhi and have returned to work in their home town and for them the development of the region overrides all other concerns. Among the semi agrarian middle classes, the call for a change is not through the region’s facilities, but through the ballot box. They are eager for a change in the very government of the state.

On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer any four of the questions given below:

  1. What is the origin of the Bill Clinton School?
  2. What is its condition today?
  3. How has the presence of this school affected the area?
  4. What are the infrastructure drawbacks in the area?
  5. What changes are the local youth and middle classes looking for?
  6. Which line in the passage shows that local folks in the area are trying to change?
  7. Find the word from the passage that means the same as ‘well off’.
    1. affable
    2. affluent
    3. afford
    4. affiliate
  8. Give the antonym of ‘new’.
    1. turbulent
    2. traditional
    3. tardy
    4. tame
  9. Find the word from the passage that means the same as ‘damaged’.
    1. bargained
    2. battered
    3. benefited
    4. borrowed
  10. What does the word ‘spate’ mean?
    1. occur
    2. outpouring
    3. orient
    4. oblivious
  11. ‘Agrarian’ means ______________.
    1. one who is born in Agra.
    2. one who belongs to Agra.
    3. one who works in Agra.
    4. one who respects Agra.

Answers

  1. This school was started by Bill Clinton himself. It has now 565 students studying under CBSE Board. The students belong to affluent families as well as to local folk.
  2. The presence of this school has given rise to a spate of educational institutions (promising exciting career options) along the road from Shamli to Saharanpur.
  3. The drawbacks are unsteady power, battered roads, and decline of industries.
  4. They want the region to be developed not only through the region’s facilities, but through the ballot box. Infact they are eager for a change in the state government.
  5. ‘Sitting amidst sugar cane fields and mango orchards they present a picture of society trying to change’.
  6. affluent
  7. traditional
  8. battered
  9. outpouring
  10. Agricultural

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