Access to safe drinking water and contamination fee village
Today, Rundhauli Bhavchak village of Maharajganj Sadar block, is in process to become a contamination free village with safe drinking water facilities available here. Construction of drainage system is in progress and within few days the whole village will be contamination free. This was the result of the initiatives taken by Mahila Sangharsh Manch of this village.
Months back, when this village was full of contaminated water and there were no sewage system for the passage of waste water from the households, it used to get spread over the roads and most of the times, this water overflowed in many of the houses. For drinking purpose, there was not even a single India Marka Handpump available there and everyone was forced to drink that contaminated water which becomes the reason for the outburst of many water borne infections/diseases. This condition was very depressing but everyone was tired of requesting to the village administration on the same issue again and again as the village head was not willing to work for it anyhow.
During a monthly meeting of Mahila Sangharsh Manch, all the 56 members took a pledge to implement safe sanitation practices in the village and to provide safe drinking water to the households. After they heard that the village head doesn’t listen any request, they decided to talk directly to the District Magistrate on the same issue. With the support of SKEVS, all these women presented their problem before the DM and got the assurance for the rapid development in their proposal. A budget of Rs 14 lakhs has been passed for this village for the same.
Currently, half of the work has been done for the construction of drainage system and within a few days, India Marka pumps will also be available in the village.
Indra Devi 35 yrs expresses her happiness for this development in her village and says, “We know that this contaminated water can be the cause of many diseases in our family so we can’t rest until we do not get access to our right to health. Thanks for the support from SKEVS which has become our primary source of knowledge concerning our lives and the ways to improve it.”
Dream of a model school
Shri Indrajeet prasad
Junior School Pachfeda,Vishunpura Kushinagar
Indrajeet prasad belongs to schedule class community and lives in Pachfeda village of Vishunpura Block in Kushinagar District. Indrajeet prasad comes from a middle class family and has a small portion of land for earning their livelihood. He is President of the School Management Committee- Junior High School Pachfeda, Vishunpura, Kushinagar. He and his other companions who are members of the SMC, they are completely unaware of the roles and responsibilities and for what kind of duties they have to perform. Few months back, these SMC members got an opportunity to take part in a training program organized by SKEVS Kushinagar with the support of OXFAM India. They developed their knowledge and understanding through this training program.
Since the starting of his presidential period, the school was facing many fundamental problems. All the members of the SMC were aware about it and one day they decided to do the needful work regarding the enrolment and retention problem of the children at the school.
They started their mission by a small meeting of community members consisting women, men and other SMC members. Till the date, 35 children (23male and 12 female) have been enrolled in this school by the efforts of SMC Pachfeda. They shared the challenges of life with school going children and their parents. They build up a School library in this school and also prepared a school development plan with the help of teaching and non teaching staffs.
There are 250 children who have received uniform and books with the help of Indrajeet prasad and his fellow members. Indrajeet Prasad says, “I want my school to be developed as a model school in Kushinagar District.”
President, SMC,Primery School,Maghi chapara,Vishunpura Kushinagar
Swaminath prasad belongs to Maghichapra village which is situated in Vishunpura block of Kushinagar District. Swaminath comes from Schedule cast poor family. He is president of the SMC formed in his village but he was completely unaware of the functioning and objective of the formation of SMCs. He has notices many problems occurring in the schools like-
- poor condition of enrollment and retention,
- no boundary walls in the school,
- unavailability of Mid Day Meal and safe drinking water,
- School land captured by a DABANG (influential person),
He always thought to do something about these problems but he never knew the way if how to… At the same time, SKEVS started working for strengthening and capacitating SMCs throughout that area with the support of OXFAM India. Swaminath and the other SMC members of that community also took part in many of the programs and started understanding their roles and the importance of the SMCs for the better functioning of a school. They decided that they will reduce the problems of the school by making their own SMC functional.
They discussed the problem with all community members and the parents of the school going children and as a conclusion, they prepared an application. They submitted this application to the District Basic Siksha Adhikari-Kushinagar. He shared the same application with DM Kushinagar and as a result, DM Kushinagar issued an order for the arrest of the influential person who has captured the school land. Police went to the village with Swaminath and freed the school place.
This incident has motivated the community people and especially Swaminath. He is now more enthusiastic for the functioning of his SMC and the development of their school.
There are 65 children in the school who have received uniform and scholarship as a result of continuous work done by Swaminath and his fellow members.
LAND ISSUE OF SINGLE WOMEN
Ekami Devi (35 years) is also from this community and lives here. She has 4 children (all son) and all of them are working as daily wage labours. Three of them are married and lives with their own families and the fourth is a high addict of alcohol and never does in favour of Ekami Devi and their daily needs. Ekami Devi’s husband passed away a few years back. In this poor condition, she had the only hope of her 0.4 acre of land which was in her possession since 1990. The only problem was that she did not have legal possession on her land.
Once she tried to make a hut on the land to live there by using all the money that she had but the influential people of the village burnt her hut and she was left with nothing in her hand. Being a member of Mahila Sangharsh Manch, she discussed this issue in the monthly meeting of the group with all her companions. Everyone listened her problem very carefully and they took pledge to provide her justice by their unite force. They decided to talk to the concerned Lekhpal first so that her land could be identified. But the Lekhpal refused to help them and send the women back. After this all the women had a meeting and they decided to meet with the village head. They were ready to meet to the District magistrate also on the Tehseel Diwas to give him an application if the village head doesn’t listen to them. And the same happened as they have predicted. The village head refused to help and take any initiative towards solving the problem and women’s group went to the Tehseel and handed over the application to him. As a result, the DM of the district was very supportive and ordered the concerned officials to take required steps for the issue and do the processing as soon as possible.
Ekami Devi is very happy now as all the formalities have been completed now and very soon she will be entitled with her own land.
She says, “I am very thankful to Mahila Sangharsh Manch and SKEVS that provided us the motivation and awareness to raise voice for our rights. Without the support of SKEVS, we could have never been this much successful.”