I visited local villages and clinics in the south-eastern Nepal, located next to Bihar, India — one of most notorious places in India. (When I mentioned Bihar to my Indian colleague who graduated from IIT, he simply said it is very dangerous.) Every thing close to the Indian border was in chaos and functional public services do not exist. Honestly I was quite disappointed to see the region that gave birth to Buddhism is so shuttered. Is this the living condition Buddha had envisioned? But things may be getting better.
By LYDIA POLGREEN
- “Under Mr. Prasad’s watch, criminal syndicates kidnapped, extorted and robbed with impunity, protected by political leaders, or in some cases led by politicians.”
- “Its already dismal roads disintegrated into impassable tracks. Its schools crumbled; teachers did not show up for work. Its health centers were left unstaffed. Bihar had some of the country’s sickest, poorest and shortest-lived people in India, a dismal catalog for a state that in its glory days, a few millennia ago, was home to one of South Asia’s most powerful empires and the place where the Buddha reached enlightenment.”
- “It was not a case of bad governance,” Mr. Kumar said in an interview. “Governance was completely absent from the state of Bihar.”
- It was as if most of the 20th century had passed Bihar by.
- Next came schools and hospitals. More than 2.5 million school-age children were not attending classes; by 2010 that number was reduced to fewer than 800,000. Clinics that had been seeing 30 patients a month because they had no medicine or doctors were staffed up and restocked. By 2006, the patient load had increased tenfold.