Village Chiefs Challenge Committees

Dhoker Jhara Village, India

 

This quarter we conducted an Awareness Programme by meeting villagers individually as well as in a group. Our focus was to get all villagers on the same page so that they could see the root cause of their problems and take steps to overcome them. 

 

For some reason, villagers only understand when we teach them personally. They have not complied as a group. Teaching them personally is good, but it’s a long process to bring them to a common understanding. So this time, I tried something different. The Santal people group have their own social hierarchy. There is a village chief and under him a committee of a few villagers. They all had different responsibilities. This system used to be very powerful a few decades ago, but as time passed, the committee members were there in name only. I have talked to the village chiefs of five villages and convinced them to implement Transformational Community Development (TCD) through their committees. I received positive responses from all of them!

 

Apart from this, last month we made some banners which tell about the TCD concept, and we shared them with more than ten villages. Our goal was to make them aware of the value of TCD and invite them to learn about it. We will develop a cluster team which will work with all of these villages. As for now, we have recruited 11 youths who are ready to volunteer as TCD workers! 

 

Another thing which I did this quarter was to motivate villagers to claim their allotment from the government. There are lots of programmes for poor farmers offered by government, but without knowledge, villagers are not able to receive it.

 

Regarding a much needed check dam, a huge project, we have not gotten 700 people to sign the application to send to the District Commissioner’s office. To obtain these signatures, villagers are taking initiative by trying to convince negative minded people. 

 

Other than the check dam, now villagers are realising that they need a water pump for irrigation and the electric connection to run it. We are working to provide them avwater pump, on the condition that they have to get the electric connection from electric department by themselves. They are excited and trying their level best to get the electric connection.

 

TCD Update

 

  • Water – No record of water-related disease this year!  People are drinking water not only after filtering, but some of them have started boiling.
     
  • Food – People are adding more vegetables to their diets.
     
  • Income Generation – People are interested in animal husbandry. We have bought goats and pigs for eight people to start businesses. Some ladies are selling vegetables and homemade food items in the weekly market.
     
  • Education – 90% of the  children are going to school, and we have started tutoring classes in the village to help students improve.
     
  • Wellness – We have been teaching healthy behaviour lessons to the villagers. It has been observed recently that during arguments, people listen and seek good resolutions unlike before.

 

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