10,000 villagers slog for 5 years to bring river back
PRATAPGARH/ALLAHABAD: After five years of collective work, over 10,000 people in nearly 50 villages of Pratapgarh and Allahabad districts have been successful in bringing the Bakulahi river back to its natural course. If Bihar’s Dasrath Manjhi’s resolve to break mountain was for carving out a road, these Manjhis from Mandhata block of Pratagarh were determined to end their water woes. The entire digging work of about 18 km started in August 2011 and finished by July end this year. The dug up stretch is now already full of water barring some patches.
About 25 years ago, the irrigation department had diverted the flow of the river for ‘loop cutting’ work to check annual flood in the area. Although the flood menace was checked, the step triggered water crisis in the region.
“Till 1987, the river used to pass through Torai, Babupur, Gaura, Nanda Ka Pura, Saray Deorai and other villages towards Dhema village and people would get adequate water. But after the route was changed, the villagers started facing problems in getting drinking water and that for agricultural fields,” said Samaj Shekhar, convenor, Bakulahi River Rejuvenation Campaign. There were three blocks which were majorly affected – Mandhta in Pratapgarh, which has a substantial part of the newly dug up stretch — and Holgarh and Soraon in Allahabad.
In 2003, ‘Waterman’ Magsaysay Award winner Rajendra Singh visited the affected villages and stressed on the need for bringing the river back to its natural course to end the water crisis.
“In 2011, thousands of villagers from 50 villages resolved to put the river on its natural course. Locals collected about Rs 12 lakh for the entire work on their own. Besides manual digging, we also hired JCB machines for deeper digging,” said Shekhar.
Outstanding , if we wait on corrupt leaders nothing will be done
These villagers are role model for others
They proved that with team work everything is possible – I mean realistic.
While its heartening to see the villagers’ struggle finally bear fruit once they showed determination and decided to do it themselves, it also reflects the sad state of Govt. affairs in some part of the country, especially in backward areas.
The villagers have set an example of collective common work for others. Nice.
Community spirit is sorely lacking in India. This is the best example and should be made known to people. Many a times, it is better to do something by the community than wait for the government to do something. If they had waited for the government, it would still be in planning stage and there would be corruption of crores! Hope such spirit becomes infectious!
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that’s the way to do it… Indian public will have to do everything on their own as the civic administration is totally worthless
good they realized that govt only talks.
Blue print for united India without government help. Using resources effectively can bring lots of changes.Jai ho.
When democracy dozes due to corruption and lethargy, socialism looks so fruitful, attractive and inviting ! …. and in reality its vice-versa as well !
IF ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY START ON A MISSION AS THIS, OUR COUNTRY COULD DO WONDERS IN 5 YEARS
people have to come forward to improve their lives positively instead of merely expecting everything from govt. Only those societies have progressed who have taken the positive steps for their own development. Those who have waited for others to do something have lagged behind
where there is a will there is a way