Ram Kuvar Bai decides to bring water to her dry village
Ram Kuvar Bai is a daily wage laborer who took the first step to bring water to a dry village in Madhya Pradesh.
Salidhana has extremely less rainfall and getting enough water for daily needs was a struggle. It was declared a dry village by government engineers after failed attempts of digging for water.
The village only had one hand pump which was on a hilly slope. There was no proper path to the pump and so the women often injured themselves while fetching water.
Goonj asked the villagers to think of a solution for their water problem through their 'Cloth for work' program. 'Cloth for work' is a Goonj program where they motivate the community to solve their issues and in return they get clothes as payment
The village women got together and built steps which made it easier for them to go up and down the slope. By building these steps the women understood that if they worked together, they could solve their community issues.
Encouraged by this success, the villagers now wanted to dig a well to solve their water crisis.
Ram Kuvar Bai offered her land free of cost and enrolled as the first person to work on the well. A local knowledgeable village elder was called to identify the spot for digging. He used Padiyar, the traditional method of rolling a coconut to identify a spot for digging.
On the first day only seven people turned up but as days progressed more and more people started to come to work on the well. Their hard work bore success and after days of digging, they struck water.
This was a moment of great celebration. Salidhana's well set an example and inspired other neighboring villages to dig their own communal wells.
A few months after the well was dug, the villagers of Salidhana worked with the local authorities and got their kaccha (temporary) well made pukka (permanent) under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
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