Sustainability and ownership in the community depends on the whole-hearted participation and collaborative efforts of the local committee members, villagers and the Government. This is true in the case of Wanganpada, a village in Dahanu block of Palghar district.
Many issues in the village were solved due to sheer determination and cooperation of the Pada Samiti members and the village authorities.
The villagers found it difficult to conduct meetings or any events due to lack of a multi- purpose hall or community hall in the village. The only area where prayers and satsangs were held belonged to a person named Mr. Ramesh Ghosa. When he came to know of the villagers’ problems, he decided to donate the land for a community hall to be built which can be used for multiple purposes. The Pada Samiti members met the villagers and they jointly decided to construct an open hall with a ceiling and 3 walls for events and meetings. The villagers took this matter to the local MLA and the Gram Panchayat and this resulted in getting the hall constructed at the earliest. The Pada Samiti members supervised the construction and the villagers offered Shramdaan. The hall was finally set and became a source of inspiration for the other villages too!
In another instance, drinking water was a scarcity in this hamlet, which had only one private well which dries up in March. The National Rural Drinking Water Program had sanctioned a 5000 liter tank with some taps for storage of drinking water in the village, but this did not materialise due to lack of political will and community follow up with the process. The women folk had to walk 2 kms one way to fetch water on a daily basis. The Pada Samiti discussed this issue with the Sarpanch and Gram Sevak and presented the resolution in the Gram Sabha, the result of which led to all the households being able to get drinking water at their doorstep. The Pada Samiti members have prepared a timesheet of water utilisation and also framed minimal charges for maintenance of the machinery and pumps.
During one of the Pada Samiti meetings, one of the issues discussed was regarding the villagers not possessing important documents like caste certificate, income certificate, ration card and benefits from schemes like pension scheme etc. Team AROEHAN suggested that the Pada Samiti members make a list of the beneficiaries and meet the Tahsildar regarding the same.
A camp was organised in the village and all the villagers including those from neighbouring villages who had issues to be resolved were invited to participate. The Tahsildar arranged for all his officials to be present during the camp. 114 issues related to ration card, 40 related to income certificate, 3 caste certificate issues and 10 of pension benefit schemes were solved within no time.
Such is the power of collective efforts of local governance committees and the villagers!