Seventeen years have passed after a mineral-rich state, Jharkhand, was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.
Binod Bhagat, founder member of the All Jharkhand school students Union, played a key role in the statehood movement. He was inside and outside of jails during bandhs and demonstrations within the late 1980s and during the 1990s.
However, in comparison to others who were with him during the movement, he is now living in a sorry state of affairs. He is out on the streets, selling vegetables at a local market in Morhabadi.
The people who Bhagat hand-picked for the statehood cause, have made a meteoric rise and enjoy ministerial status in the various governments since November 2000.
He holds a dual post-graduate in economics and journalism from Ranchi University and was posted as an assistant station manager at Dhanbad with South Eastern Railways.
“I left my job manner again in 1986 and jumped into the motion to get a separate state, little determining then that the state would go into fingers of crooks,” Bhagat talked about.
His downfall started when he failed to adjust with political parties (JMM and BJP).
Feeling no shame in selling vegetables, Bhagat said it is better than earning money through corrupt means.
Every day he takes home a profit of Rs 100 and finds time to pursue research work on mining in Jharkhand.
He is optimistic that this bad phase of his life will pass soon.