Surguja, Chhattisgarh: The light of development is yet to reach many villages of India even if we are standing in the fast moving 21st century. Baghdohdha village, home to Pahari Korwa families is one such village which lacks access to basic facilities like roads, drinking water, electricity and public healthcare amenities. Pahari Korwa’s are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) who lacks awareness about their rights and entitlements and also how to access them.
Thus, when they were facing with water stress, the villagers had to travel miles to fetch and found it daunting to address the woes. A singe shallow water pit was the only source for drinking water for the entire village and it only contained water for nine months in a year. Except the forest department officials, no government department or schemes had ever reached the village. And how could they, the only way to the village and outside was a 5 km densely shrubbed mountain trail. Based on the need of the community, we started intervening our livelihood programme in the village through our partner organization Prayog. Through community mobilization and awareness meetings, effort was made to sensitize the community about their rights and the processes towards accessing them.
Supported by the project partner, the community met with the Chief Executive Officer of Manpat block and shared about their water woes. This meeting resulted in installation of 2 handpumps which paved the way for water accessibility. Besides, the community was also allotted 15 houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme and they also received work during construction of the houses under cash for work programme. The families also received smart card to access medical benefits till Rs. 50,000.
Engagement during the project process inspired the community to also look for solutions at their own level. The families in Baghdodha themselves dug two wells for drinking water. They also constructed 3 km of mud road connecting the village to the main road outside the village. Subsequently, they again undertook widening of the narrow road to make it accessible by motor cars. Further, they are in involved in development of micro plans. The community is now more hopeful towards participation process and creating sustainable solutions for the wellness of their village and community.
Story By : Animesh Kar