Jagatsinghpur, March 4 (LocalWire): The women of Mangrajpur panchyat have taken up cudgels against government apathy and are helping themselves by restoring water bodies to find a solution to acute water scarcity in the Kujang block.
Despite frequent demonstrations, the administration turned a blind eye towards the drinking water problem in the village and so the women, aged between 35-70 years, led by sarpanch Purnima Tripathy, undertook this revolutionary programme of restoring water bodies.
They are digging ponds, erecting river embankments and weeding dry ponds to renew their water source. Besides these, the women are also repairing the village road.
Battling various challenges, these homemakers renovated a half acre dry pond by cleaning weeds and restored more than six dried ponds and erected an embankment on the Halidipani river. The embankment was constructed to restrict the entry of saline water from the river into the pond which can now be used for drinking.
Saudamini Swain, Mata Barik and others said ‘We did not know anything about digging wells or erecting embankments initially. But, we relied on our group effort and gradually learnt the trade.We are proud that we could confidently take up this immense task and could be successful.’
The women have also taken five ponds on auction for pisciculture to ensure a steady income to support their families.
‘The men are working outside the village while women are working in different development activities within the panchyat. The women are not asking for any labour charge or taking home the funds allotted under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
They are saving the money to utilise it for machinery that will be needed to pump water, dredging and transporting of construction materials,’ the sarpanch said.