In a remarkable feat, 250 women from Angrotha village of Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh have succeeded in cutting a hill in order to resolve their ongoing water crisis.
Although the government has been looking to find a solution for this issue for years now, nothing substantial had happened. That’s why these women got together and carved a pathway for the water to flow into the village pond – which took 18 months of hard work.
One of the women, Babita, who was a part of this initiative, has told the media, “We have been working for over 18 months to channel water into the village, the water used to freely flow in the forest and thus could not be used.”
The women villagers cut the hill to a length of about 0.5 kilometres, and although it took one and a half years, they didn’t give up. Among the reasons to undertake this initiative was the urge to help farming activities and aid livestock, apart from resolving the water crisis in the village. Reportedly, the women are also working on removing several stones that are present in the path of the water flow.
Earlier this month, a 70-year-old man from Bihar, Laungi Bhuiyan, was in the news for having spent over 30 years to create a three-kilometre lake in Gaya. He wanted the rainwater to reach the fields of his village, Kothiwala, where animal husbandry and farming are the primary occupations. Recently, Indian billionaire and CEO of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra gifted a tractor to Laungi, and lauded his efforts.
Laungi is known as the second ‘mountain man of Bihar’ after Dashrath Manjhi from Gehlaur village, who carved a path through a ridge of hills using only a hammer and chisel. In fact, such was his story that it inspired a Bollywood movie called ‘Manjhi: The Mountain Man’ in which actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the titular role.
(Edited by Athira Nair)