Working for rights
When the people are driven to the wall, they react to
survive. Thats what girijans (a tribal community) of Cherukupalli and Tarakalagudem
village, Sattupalli block, Khammam district, Andhra Pradesh, did to regain their rights on
the local water sources.
Ginnelavagu, a perennial water source flows by the side of
these two villages but they were deprived of its waters by influential non girijans living
downstream. Moreover, the efforts of girijans to utilise springs water by diverting it to
a sump and manually lifting it were tampered with. The different state departments did not
extend any help.
Faced with acute drought this year, which ruined their
entire kharif crops and little water to drink, girijans united to assert their rights over
Ginnelavagus water. The village communities from both the village built a sand bag
check dam across Ginnelavagu. About 5,000 bags were used to construct the structure that
is 12 feet in width and ten feet high. Its height can be raised to impound more water, if
such a need arises. A 300 feet long feeder channel was also dug through the lands owned by
As they were united, all this was accomplished without
opposition. A decision to unitedly assert their rights has earned them prosperity and
(With inputs from Capt J Rama Rao)
The Directorate of Agriculture (DoA) in Haryana has come out with a series
of 18 pamphlets detailing the district wise rural groundwater status. The survey was
undertaken to substantiate the efforts of the Water Conservation Mission to promote
efficient use of water. The set is available free of cost at DoA, Sector 21, Panchkula
Appalled by governments apathy, Wangbok
Hynniewta, the officer-in-charge of Sohra police station, Cherrapunjee, took action.
Working after office hours, he built a check dam and a water tank with 2,000 litres
capacity, at the cost of Rs 6,000. The initial response of the locals was negative but now
they are confident of overcoming scarcity without waiting for governments support.