Reported By : EKTA, IGSSS Partner in Odisha 
“Now I am confident that we will able to do double cropping throughout the year,”
Dhansi Mandangi, President of Village Action Team (VAT).

VAT President Dansi Mandangi monitoring the at the work place


Rayagada, Odisha: The story of Himarpodi village assumes significant importance  towards hope weaving in times of drought. Himarpodi is a small village of Kumbhikota Gram Panchayat. The village which is home to around 87 Kandha tribal families is mainly dependent on agriculture and agri – wage labour. Water scarcity is the biggest challenge facing the predominantly agricultural households in the village.


When Ekta started intervention in the village under the livelihood programme SOUL (Sustainable Options for Uplifting Livelihood), the first step was to create sustained community bodies such as VAT (Village Action Team). During their regular meetings, the VAT members decided to renovate the old, damaged pond to deal with the water crisis. Nistu Mandangi, the Sarpanch of the village led the initiative. Accompanied by other VAT members, he regularly visited the block and district officials with their application for pond renovation.


In  the month of April, 4 lakh rupees were sanctioned to Nistu Mandangi under the Gopabandu, Gramina Yojana for construction of farm pond in their village. Once constructed, around 20 families will be able to irrigate their land. The VAT members are very happy to have been able to mobilize government funds for a permanent resource for their village. “Now I am confident that we will able to do double cropping throughout the year,” Dhansi Mandangi, president of Village Action Team (VAT).  


India is battling one of the worst drought in decades, about one third of the country with an estimated 25% of the population severely impacted by the disaster. Odisha is also one of the worst affected states with about 27 of the 30 districts severely affected. The total crop area affected is 21.6 lakh hectare which is going to have recurring effect on the volume of foodgrain production. Rayagada district is one of the worst hit with around 1,228 villages with significant amount of crop loss reported.


EKTA is implementing partner of IGSSS in Odisha