Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The triumph of ingenuity

Expand Messages
  • Shaji John K
    ========[Moderator s Comment]======== Can anyone from Banda tell us more on this? Cheers Shaji ===================================== The triumph of ingenuity
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2003
      ========[Moderator's Comment]========
      Can anyone from Banda tell us more on this?


      The triumph of ingenuity

      TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2003 02:00:36 AM ]

      Village women from Kharond, Banda district, have demonstrated how far
      a little innovation and determination can go in resolving problems of
      drainage in the deep hinterland of rural Uttar Pradesh. This
      indigenous initiative has also served to facilitate the empowerment
      of women as 'decision makers' in Kharond.

      Through sheer grit and determination, this group of illiterate women —
      once relegated to the periphery of the developmental process — were
      able to construct a 252-foot labyrinthine network of drains in their
      village. The scrupulously fine-tuned sewer system today exemplifies
      the ingenuity of these highly motivated and spirited village women.

      For Sharda Devi and her team from Kharond, who had never stepped out
      of the cloistered existence of their village, a visit to the state
      capital Lucknow, to meet the Governor a few years back, was a
      momentous occasion. According to VP Singh, project director, Mahila
      Kalyan Nigam, this visit was part of a programme aimed at female

      "Their inquisitiveness about all things big and small, also had them
      questioning the officials on how the sewerage system worked in the
      city, where unlike their village, there were few open drains," he

      The officials simply lifted the lid of one of the manholes and
      demonstrated the elaborate underground network linking of the drains.
      Six months later, they were pleasantly surprised to receive an
      invitation to visit the village. These spunky women had after a few
      meetings, decided to construct similar drains in their village too.

      To execute this decision, they needed to pool in their scarce
      resources and limited technical know how. Undeterred by their
      material constraints, they handed a packet each to their school-going
      children and asked them to collect sand on their way home. Even
      passing truck drivers carrying bricks were asked to contribute a few
      bricks each to meet the shortfall, and slowly, the requisite raw
      material was collected.

      Then, they coaxed and cajoled the local mason to help them, and after
      a few initial hiccups, were successful in constructing this intricate
      underground drainage system.

      The onset of the monsoons, with the rain gods showering largess on a
      parched earth also spells disaster for the threadbare system of civic
      amenities — especially the roads.

      Villagers often face the predicament of restrictions in their
      mobility, as even the cobbled roads (kharanjas), slowly turn into
      cesspools of stagnant water. These then serve as breeding grounds for
      all sorts of diseases causing bacteria and viruses. It is problems
      like this, that gave birth to an indigenous system of drainage
      developed by the women to free their village from the menace of water-

      Today, Kharond's roads are no longer water-logged, nor does the
      threat of disease hang heavy over the village like the sceptre of
      doom, every time it rains.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.