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In the time of drought in India, self sustainable village Baghuvar shows the way

Pankaj Shukla’s documentary Swaraj Mumkin Hai based on efforts of villagers of Baghuvar in Madhya Pradesh

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Banner of 'Swaraj Mumkin Hai'

India is going through the worst water crisis this year. Bad monsoons over the years, use of potable water in factories and ignorance towards Environment has run havoc in many states of the country. But, what the policy makers of this country could not learn in debates and discussions in the parliament, people of a small village called Baghuvar in Madhya Pradesh learned by following principles of Mahatma Gandhi, popularly knowns as Swaraj. Yes, this village not only has enough ground water now to survive for years in any drastic environmental situation but it also has many firsts which are still a dream for thousands of villages in India.

Pankaj Shukla
Pankaj Shukla : Director of the documentary ‘Swaraj Mumkin Hai’

The unique ways of water conservations and water harvesting in this tiny village of Baghuvar are very well captured on screen by filmmaker and senior journalist Pankaj Shukla in his latest documentary called Swaraj Mumkin Hai, this film was released on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal by Padma Shri award winner Mr. Vijay Dutt Shridhar in a very Gandhian way. This release function was held in Dushyant Kumar Smarak Pandulipi Sangrahalay, which is also fast becoming a tourist place for Hindi poetry lovers. Mr. Shridhar also released a book on the making of this film, which is written by Maya Vishwakarma and edited by maker of the film Pankaj Shukla.

Village Baghuvar
Village Baghuvar

During the function, speakers put forward their great concern about policies and their execution at village level. Mr. Sridhar said that without valuing our culture, traditions and ancient thoughts about strengthening village independence, no development has any value for a common man. And, it is a pity that leaders of today do not want villagers to know their rights and do not wish to make villagers part of the development programs. He hailed Pankaj Shukla for leaving his luxurious life of Mumbai and to reach to a village in Madhya Pradesh where not many leaders of even that are have reached so far.

Village Baghuvar
Village Baghuvar

When asked about why did he chose to make a full length documentary film on Baghuvar? Director Pankaj Shukla explained it in detail. He said, “Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating for one ideal village per year in every parliamentary constituency to his MPs. But we are yet to know more about it. We chose to release this film at a time where again Central Government is running Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday program in each and every village of India. If we could make one Baghuvar in each block of our country, the development of village will be manifolds within few years. But someone has to take onus of it. Development of any village can be done only by the villagers of that village like people of Baghuvar did in their village. This is a live model of Self Sustainable village in India and government should bring more and more Gram Pradhans here for tour so that they can replicate Baghuvar model in their villages as well.”

The documentary titled Swaraj Mumkin Hai elaborates on how by transparent utilization of government funds and by involving every resident of the village, a village can transform itself into a self-sustainable village.  The film is of 40 Minutes duration and it encompasses all the major work done in this village like Bio Fuel, Organic Agriculture, Water Harvesting, Hygienic ecosystem, Education for All, Toilets in every home and many others. The film’s premier was also done for the villagers of Baghuvar in a function at the village itself where people from more than 100 villages participated and enjoyed the documentary. An NGO Sukarma Foundation has come forward to take this film to maximum villages and organize shows to educate the villagers for self-development of their villages. Veteran Music Director and Narrator Mr. Brij Bhushan has lent his voice for this movie, while Hitesh Prasad, the famous percussionist has given back ground music in the film. Senior camera person Neeraj Tiwari has done cinematography for the film. Around fifty percent money used in making the film has come from crowd funding, rest of the funds have been donated by Mumbai based production company Sound N Clips productions.

 

 

  • chakrs

    People in villages like Baghuvar can surely inspire their neighbouring villages to follow their example. In this way the whole country can be developed in a few years.

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Women Turn into Well Diggers in Drought Hit Kerala Villages

Over 300 women in Palakkad district started digging wells to find a solution to the acute water scarcity in the drought-hit villages of Kerala

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Drought
Drought in Kerala 2017 drinking water supply. Wikimedia

Kerala, July 13, 2017: The dearth of water in the hamlet of Kerala has turned women into well diggers. It is estimated that over 300 women in Palakkad district of Kerala have started digging wells to find a solution to the acute water scarcity in the drought-hit villages of Kerala.

When the first signs of drought in Kerela appeared, the women in the area made things easier when they began digging the wells with spades and shovels in October 2016.

None of the women had an experience of digging well in the past but the unfamiliarity with work was never a predicament in their way. Radha, a well digger was employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) for the past four years now.

“We never had any experience of digging wells. But our collective spirit helped us learn the trick easily. Now we have warmed up to it and most of us get into 80-feet deep without any fear,” said K Radha reportedly to HT.

ALSO READ: Sweet Paradox: India’s Drought-Stricken Farmers plant the Thirstiest Crop ‘Sugarcane’ 

The president of Pookkottukavu panchayat, K Jayadevan, concludes that women dig wells with the same perfection as that of their professional male counterparts. 

Jayadevan told PTI, “The first well, dug by a group of women, under the scheme looked like a pit. But, as they took up more wells, they have perfected. The latest ones, made by them, are really structural marvels. This transition is the proof of empowerment attained by these village women.”

-Prepared by a Staff writer at Newsgram

 

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Ancient innovations are now solving water crisis in Sri Lanka

Village tanks some of which have been operational for 2,000 years are now the primary source of water for villagers in Puhudiwula

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Contaminated water in Sri Lanka has forced people to revert to Ancient innovations for water Image Courtsey:Pixbay

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External Affairs Ministry of India grants $1 Million to drought-hit Zimbabwe in Africa

Zimbabwe has been hit by the worst drought in two decades and thousands of people might be facing starvation by the end of 2016

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Drought affected area. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, August 16, 2016: India has handed over $1 million as grant to the African nation,  following an appeal made by drought-hit Zimbabwe, the External Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday.

“Last week, Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe handed over $1 million to the government of Zimbabwe as a grant from the government of India in response to the appeal made by Zimbabwe,” the ministry said in a statement.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Misheck Sibanda. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“Accepting the grant, Misheck Sibanda, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, thanked for the quick response by the government of India to an international appeal made by Zimbabwe in the wake of El Nino-induced drought disaster,” it stated.

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Sibanda, according to the statement, said that Zimbabwe was happy with the sound relationship that exists between Zimbabwe and India in critical sectors of the economy such as small and medium enterprises, information and communication technology, energy, education and pharmaceuticals.

“India also announced that the logistical modalities are being worked out for the donation of 500 metric tonne of rice in the second phase of assistance,” the External Affairs Ministry said.

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Zimbabwe has been hit by the worst drought in two decades and thousands of people might be facing starvation by the end of this year, in 2016, according to reports. (IANS)

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