Water to Power
When the dominant community saw the success of this community water pipeline scheme they also started thinking of having similar connections. Today they are not interested in standing in queues at hand pumps and pump out water. They also became interested in getting a connection in their area too. They requested the Operations and Maintenance Committee to extend the connection to their locations. The O&M Committee could have said no, but good sense prevailed among them. They understood that this was for them the opportunity to re-establish relations as at the end all have to co-exist. They understood that giving water could be possible if the dominant community spent their own money to get the pipelines laid. They communicated this message and were now waiting for the dominant community to get the resources.
The other interesting development that took place with water connections is the emphasis on having the sanitation units constructed. Since then, over 40 new units have been constructed with higher share coming from the households.
The work done by Dharti for now almost ten years in the area and about three years in the village has given some very definitive outcomes. These are:
Enhanced negotiation power with the excluded community: Water is now available to 76 families. The families from the dominant castes that had earlier opposed to the implementation of the scheme are now taking interest in obtaining water connection. They have approached the organisation and also the water committee for providing them with water connection. The committee has suggested them to take up water connection at their own cost. The committee is also contemplating of some plans to expand the connection to the other households.
The community has gained in knowledge and has also gained confidence: The self-confidence among the SC community has improved. They have realised that coming together can help them a lot to succeed. During their long struggle for electricity the community had to move from pillar to post. However, all this has given them information about many government schemes and they have learnt what they can do for themselves if they remain united. They started taking interest in several other government rural development schemes like MNREGA, TSC and Nirmal Vatika. They have been discussing with the organisation to help them get access to these schemes.
Got toilet along with water: When the organisation started its work, the village did not have a single toilet. Dharti promoted 5 toilets as model and thereafter till date 40 more toilets have been constructed. The toilets could not be promoted earlier because there was no water. Availability of water at the doorstep has improved the sanitation behaviour of people.
Success has since multiplied: When the success story of this community water pipeline scheme spread, several government officials from the PHED and other departments came to see the same. They have since replicated the same design at two other places with in the same block.