Pimpri Village Wonder
Our village of almost 210 families relied on rain for agriculture. That meant uncertainty and we spent all our time on trying to find ways to secure water sources.
This left us with no time to even think of village development says Shri Gore, a 45 year-old farmer.
Today, that mindset has changed and everyone is enthusiastic about village development work in Pimpri Dumala in Pune. SST came to our village and decided to help change around things.
They helped us set up Self-help groups to better our incomes. Then we started on water conservation, covering almost 72 hectares. It paid off. The water level rose to 4.2 feet and the amount of water available during the peak summer period rose to 45 days.
The availability of water boosted farm yields and boosted the incomes of some farmers to almost Rs 45,000 per month.
This further bolstered expectations of the villagers. With help from SST, we began to tackle issues of solid and liquid waste management, cleanliness, quality of seeds among other things.
With guidance from SST members, we planted saplings of neem, tamarind and other crops. In July of 2016, almost 2,500 saplings were planted. These initiatives have made the villagers proud of their unity and what they have achieved so far.
The SST Way
Village Development Facilitator Rajendra Jadhav who worked to achieve the transformation in Pimpri Dumala
Villagers here had to travel 8 kilometers to fetch water. Six to seven farmers even spent their own money to access water for their fields. We thought, what about other poor farmers who didn’t have anyone to take up their cause?
That’s when farmers and we decided to together find ways to access water for drinking and irrigation. SST contributed, but made it mandatory that 20 percent of the money should come from farmers, for things such as rent for tractors for removing mud.
We decided to build tanks and clean a storm drain that had collected dirt. After cleaning, more than 3 to 4 feet of water collected in these tanks. Now, villagers have water to grow pomegranates, custard apples etc. Onions, too, are being exported to the United Arab Emirates. On average, villagers earn Rs. 25,000 per acre.
There is greater awareness of hygiene. The villagers have achieved their target of completing the construction of toilets. Previously the toilet in the school was not being used by students due to lack of water. Today, they have water. Also, villagers and SST put in money to start an E-learning Centre and repair the village school building.
Creating groups from amongst people in the village to supervise and monitor activities empowers them and imparts a great sense of responsibility.
It is important to involve members of the community in decision-making.
Once they start to see financial gains, it’s easier to convince them to take part in development work.