Dharti Gramotthan Evam Shabhagi Gramin Vikas Samiti

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If There is a Will There is a Way

if-there-is-a-willThis is the story of one section of the society which remained most under developed, deprived, discriminated and humiliated since ages. The intervention of Dharti inspired them to fight against this fear and discrimination and to take their right. Seventy-five year old Sukhobai says with her trembling hands, "Ab to ganga maiyya ghar me aa gayi hai, ab nati natin ko pani bharne nahi jaana padta.” (Mother ganga has came to home now my grand children do not have to put queue for water)

Sukhobai lives in Harijan Basti of Nayapura village, about 9 km away from Ambah block. Nayapura is a village under Khireta panchayat of Ambah Block. The major population of Nayapura belongs to Thakur and Brahmin community. There are about 90 houses of Scheduled Castes (SCs) situated at eastern part of the village.

The area of Chambal Valley is in the grip of feudalistic system and this village also belongs to this system. Water an important part of everyone's life was not easily available to them and they were facing a huge discrimination due to that.

Intervention of Dharti-WaterAid

The major intervention of Dharti-WaterAid was in the field of sanitation. At the initial level of interaction we came to know about their problem. Then a several rounds of discussions were held to solve the problem. A committee was formed under the president ship of Mr. Lal Singh. He took command of local leadership and the phase of change started. The problem was discussed with Dharti. Dharti wrote to WaterAid about their problem. With the collective efforts of all the permission for a 40,000 litre capacity water storage tank was granted and work for its construction started.

But this thing could not be accepted by the dominant community in the village like Thakurs and Brahmins. They treated this as a threat to their monopoly. They cut away the electricity connection to the locality. Now another problem arose, although everything was there but water could not be supplied due to electricity. The search for alternatives had been started and a generator was installed as experiment but it proved to be a heavy load of burden on community in terms of its running cost. Finally this had to be stopped. Now the committee put their efforts to bring electricity to their locality, they tried their hands at electricity department, SC department, Bhopal and finally the permission for the electricity was granted. Committee brought poles, DP and girders on its own expenses. Finally the tank became functional.