Monday, 13 July 2020

Akkalkuwa Block, Nandurbar District, Maharashtra

Drinking water is valuable to us, we don’t get it every day,” said an old man in Kankalmal,  a small village in Nandurbar, during the village meet regarding the Swajal Scheme orientation. With the presence & cooperation of Mr. Jalsing Tadavi, Sarpanch of Kakalmal Village, the program was organized by the Zila Parishad Executive Engineer Team & Piramal Foundation in Akkalkuwa Block’s  Satpuda range. 

The words of the man described the situation that was a reality of 30 families in the same village, until a few months back, when the Arogya Sakhi (CRP-SHG) took lead to mobilize the other women in the community to approach the local government to raise their concerns over the issue. In the scorching summers, the Kankalmal united to resolve the water deficit when it was the most needed. Together, they succeeded in constructing 20 soak pits. The women began to speak on public platforms which boosted their confidence and also generated awareness among them. 

Today, women no longer peek from the window when village meetings are held. It was the start of an attitudinal change among women that was followed by other changes. 

The village showed a significant improvement in water availability from being a water-scarce village. This was possible due to efficient water conservation techniques and involvement of women in decision making at the local panchayats. Being an inspiration to other neighbouring villages, they are among the first villages in the cluster to construct eight household rainwater harvesting structures. 

Kankalmal location set an example of how a community can resolve climatic challenges like acute water shortages, by approaching problems collectively.