NRI youth gives up job in Australia to become Village Chief

A non-resident Indian (NRI), who left his lucrative overseas job to contest for the post of Fardaud sarpanch in Nagaur district, has turned into an overnight hero.

Hanuman Fardaud (29) has become an inspiration for the villagers of Fardaud after he left his managerial job at a three-star hotel in Australia to contest the panchayat polls.

A farmer’s son, this was Fardaud’s first stint in politics. The three-phased panchayat polls started on January 16 and will end on February 1.

“It is the beginning and things will improve with time. Unless honest and educated people enter politics, things will not work in the way you want them to work,” he said.

The new sarpanch, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Australia and a diploma in tourism management from Bangkok, praised Vasundhara Raje for making educational qualification mandatory for contesting the rural elections.

“A lot of work has to be done and the five-year term would fall short if I do not start work from now,” he added. The government’s move to make educational qualification mandatory for candidates contesting rural polls has received flak from certain sections.

A group of petitioners moved the Rajasthan high court recently after the Supreme Court refused to entertain the matter. For the time being, the HC has directed the government to carry on with the rural polls.

With no political experience, Fardaud won by a margin of 2,450 votes in the elections held on Sunday.

Happy with his election, Ghisa Ram, a local resident, said, “We wanted to elect him unopposed. However, at the last moment, the nomination was filed by a rival candidate and it led to the election.”

However, the villagers feel that their dark days are over with the election of the new sarpanch. “With Hanumanji becoming our sarpanch, we sincerely hope that our village will see the light of development. He is educated, sincere and honest,” Shyam Lal, a villager, said.

This post was originally published on 21 January 2015.

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