Change Agents of Ghodi Mukund
Women farmers emerge as inspiration, leading through agriculture
By Dev Kotak
This intervention was led by Project Chirag in alliance with their grassroot partner, Diganta Swaraj Foundation.
The plant works on ultra-filtration technology. It’s power-efficient and a good idea for a village that suffers from the irregular electricity supply, he adds. Furthermore, the overhead tank is connected to taps across the village.
Having said that, the filtration plant has improved the lives of the womenfolk. “Now with at least six taps installed in the village, we don’t have to go to the lake. Our body and feet don’t hurt and, most importantly, it saves us three hours daily,” says a woman on the condition of anonymity. The extra time has allowed a few of them to now work as housemaids in the adjoining areas.
The availability of clean drinking water has led to a drop in the cases of water-borne diseases in the village. “Earlier our stock of 50 tablets (for cough, fever and dysentery) would last for about two months. But our last stock lasted for eight months!” said the resident ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker.
The tap water facility was followed by the construction of public toilets in the hamlet. This has brought down the instances of open defecation and made the women feel safer.
“Earlier, we had to wait till the dark or venture out very early in the morning to the fields. And it was always embarrassing to take someone along to relieve ourselves. [But] after the construction of toilets, we don’t have to worry about our security,” says another woman anonymously.
These sustainability programmes have addressed the issue of migration in this tribal village. Labourers, who had returned to their homes during the pandemic, now grow and sell their farm produce in the open markets.
However, education does remain a challenge and it has suffered further because of the pandemic. On the one hand, schools and junior colleges within the Zila Parishad aren’t fully equipped to impart e-learning. On the other hand, many children haven’t been able to take online classes since the lockdown because their parents do not own a phone, leave a smartphone.
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