Banswara (Rajasthan), Nov 14 (PTI) Playing with other children near the banks of Mahi river in Banswara's Chachakota, Sunita waits for visitors so that she can earn some money by taking them on a boat ride.
She is part of the tribal community in this remote area where people do not remember politicians visiting them other than during elections.
"I earn about Rs 100 a day by taking people on boat rides. My father is a labourer and what I earn helps him run the family," Sunita, a school dropout, told PTI.
Chachakota, a picturesque location, is visited by people from Banswara and nearby areas mainly during the monsoon period.
"On normal days, an average of 10-15 people come and spend time here, and this helps us make some money. What else do we need?" the girl said.
Though many tribal families in remote areas of the Banswara district lack basic facilities like safe drinking water, social media is quite popular among youngsters.
Sikku Sarpata, another 14-year-old girl who quit study after class 7, has no idea what the elections are about but she spends a lot of time scrolling reels on her smartphone.
Sitting with her mother Choku outside their 'kaccha' house with a mobile phone in her hand, Sikku said, "Reels are amazing. I enjoy them." Counting the problems she has been facing, Sikku's mother said clean drinking water and lack of work opportunities are among the major issues.
"Politicians only come here during elections to seek votes," said Choku, a daily wager who earns around Rs 200 a day.
"I lost my husband two years ago. I came to know that I can get pension. I also went to collector's office and submitted a form, but yet to get any pension," she said.
Choku also said that she has no idea about the schemes of the state government.
In Prithvigarh, another village in the vicinity of Chachakota, 50-year-old Prabhu does multiple works to take care of his family.
He sits along the roadside with a table and chair, selling items like 'bidi', 'gutkha' and chips. He also does some farming work.
He also said that the visit of politicians to his village is rare after elections.
"We vote on the issue of development. We want proper roads and handpumps in this area," said Prabhu who earns Rs 12,000 to 15,000 a month.
Rajasthan will go to polls on November 25.
Leaders of political parties insisted that they are focused on the welfare of the tribal people.
Apart from the ruling Congress and the BJP, newly formed Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP) is also expanding its base in the tribal region claiming that it has full support of the tribal community.
BAP candidate from Banswara Hemant Rana said that both the Congress and BJP have cheated the tribal people and failed to address their issues.
"These parties only did politics and never thought of the welfare of the tribal people. This time, the tribal people will support the BAP and this will be a game changer in the region," Rana said.
Congress leader and Water Resources Minister Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, who is contesting elections from Bagidora seat of Banswara, said he has been working in the area for 40 years and has done welfare work for the tribals.
"I am a tribal and have worked for the tribal welfare. Development work has been done in the district and in the region by the Congress government," he said.
Banswara, Dungarpur and Pratapgarh are tribal-dominated districts which fall in the southeastern part of the state. PTI SDA KVK KVK