Dadikhar village (Alwar District, Rajasthan): The purpose of my visit to this village was to see the rebuilding and rejuvenation of the water body by women here. Chaudhary Ratan Singh, the civil engineer from Alwar District was the coordinator of the Centre for Social Research, whose director, Professor Ranjana Kumari, is a known name in the social sector.
Water is a core issue in almost all blocks of Alwar but Bahrod, Neemrana and Ramgarh are marked as ‘Red Zones’. The water scarcity and costly fodder are forcing the women not to practice their age-old system of rearing cattle, Singh informed me.
It was after a 45-minute journey through the Aravalli hills, that we reached this beautiful village of Dadikhar. The newly built road was very narrow at many corners. There is no provision of bus service for the complete journey from Alwar town to the village.
Women in good numbers were waiting for us. The weather was cool because of the downpour the other day. As soon as we reached the waterbody, the women with children started waving their hands. A few male members were also there. I started talking to them and within no time, they became frank and started sharing their experiences.
After talking to these women, I congratulated them for their hard work as they built the dam in the hottest days of May and June. One of them said that they had to buy water. They used to pay Rs 600 per tank as they had to buy water for cattle too before the waterbody.
Now they have water for cattle to drink and bathe. The nearby area has been recharged. Kudos to such Indian women who are illiterate but understand the importance of the water body.
After seeing their efforts, I am confident that India is going to be the Vishavguru with the extraordinary wisdom, valour and labour of such women. Salute to all lovely women who fully dedicated their time to restoring water bodies.
I had only words of appreciation for their efforts. These women worked tirelessly day and night to follow the path shown to them by announcing 75 waterbodies in every district under the aegis of Amrit Sarovar by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I feel that if we all put our efforts into rejuvenating the water bodies like these women, we will definitely reach our goal of having water bodies in our villages.
The success story of Dadikhar village is an example of women’s commitment and empowerment. I request everyone, kindly put your efforts to work on rejuvenating the water bodies as a solution to the enhancing water scarcity. The women in the Dadikhar decided to save every drop of rainwater which resulted in a green environment in the vicinity of the johad. The men standing there said that the bore wells in their farm were now fully filled with water. The waterbody in the village has brought prosperity in many forms!
*The writer is the founder-president of Sampurna, a Delhi-based NGO working on empowering women, as well as spreading water literacy and making Jal Mitrs (Friends of Water) all over India.