Yes, she did it!
- Sarpanch: Baatlapalli Rajita, Education: X class
- Village: Mumdrayi, Namgunuru Mandal, Siddipeta District
- Population: 1545
- Savings Associations: 31
- Supplying daily 40 litres of mineral water to every family.
- Cent percent toilets
- Soak pits
- Total cleanliness
While in troubles we frantically look for solutions. If we are prepared to work hard and have strong perseverance to achieve, we can find solution for every problem, whatever be its magnitude.
For that village, which was deprived of water resources, proper roads, drinking water facilities, livelihood for people, etc., Rajita paved the way for all-round development. She had become a bridge between the village panchayat and the government.
At some places, women sarpanches are only figurative heads, and their husbands are de facto sarpanches. But, Rajita’s husband doesn’t belong to that class. While Rajita shoulders the responsibilities of sarpanch, he digs soak pits and water the avenue trees. He assists the members of savings associations in maintaining accounts. He briefs the people about various government schemes and the ways to achieve them. As an ideal husband of a woman sarpanch, he contributes his might towards the welfare and development of the village, and never tries to misuse his wife’s authority and power.
These villagers are progressing by effectively utilising all the welfare measures initiated by the Telangana government. By constructing cent percent toilets in the village, Rajita achieved total cleanliness, and thus maintained the self-esteem of women.
They did not stop with this. They discussed in the village assembly about the difficulties they are facing with water scarcity, and noted that unless some remedial measures are initiated, the problem will further worsen in future. They all resolved that digging a soaking pit for each and every house is a must. But, they were worried about the cost of the construction. Rajita’s husband Venkatesam, who has a good understanding on the government schemes, suggested the villagers to approach the officials of District Water Management Agency (DWMA) for assistance. Rajita along with the villagers met the officials and appraised their proposal. Impressed with their foresight and unity shown in tackling the issue, the officials sanctioned funds under the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. Soon, soak pits were constructed for every house in the village. Besides the wastewater, rainwater too gets conserved in those pits. Over a period, all the bores and wells were recharged. People are feeling happy as the water problem has become a thing of past.
Treated water for every house
Though water resources were developed, Rajita observed that due to lack of treated drinking water, often people are falling sick with diarrhoea. To save the village from this trouble, Rajita approached Arbindo Pharma, seeking their help. From its CSR funds the company sanctioned Rs.10 Lakhs for commissioning an RO plant in the village.
As per the proverb, ‘Where there is a will there is a way’, Rajita focused on the available options for solving the problems of the village, and managed to get assistance. As a result, every family is getting forty litres of treated water per day, just at a meagre cost of Rs.6/-.
These are the results:
- They have effectively utilised all the government schemes for developing the village.
- With the availability of toilet in each house, women are at ease. They have utilised the Rural water scheme and Employment Guarantee scheme.
- With government’s grant and with their voluntary services, the villagers achieved cent percent soak pits.
- Sthree Nidhi Bank gave loans to 67 women for purchasing dairy cattle.
- All the Women Save Associations formed into a Village Association, and each member saves Rs.10/- per month. They introduced an insurance scheme for their members. If a member dies, her nominee will be paid Rs.10000/- immediately.
- Sthree Nidhi Bank gave loans of Rs.40,0000 each to 25 women and Rs.50,000 each to 41 women under self employment scheme.