This blog is dedicated to the People Led Development (PLD) approach in development sector. The blog reflects PLD stories and experiences from the fields of North East (NE) India, a repository of several ethnic groups with unique tradition and culture.
PLD is the integral component of a project titled Facilitating Agriculture Regeneration (FARM) in North East India. FARM is being implemented by partners in 7 states of NE India except Sikkim and supported by Caritas India.
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
COMMUNITY ACTION BRINGS IRRIGATION WATERS TO THE FIELDS
Water for irrigation has always been a problem
for the people of New Khimiyang village in Changlang District of Arunachal
Pradesh. Scarcity of irrigation water compelled the community to depend on
rains for agricultural purpose. Given the present trend of erratic rainfalls,
the farmers were compelled to abandon their fields due to severe draughts in lean
seasons. “We were not able to cultivate
our field as per our needs and were wondering if ever we could overcome this
grim situation”, said Nganjong Tekhil, Gaon Bura (village headman) of the
This was an unavoidable challenge that the
community was face with and they looked quite demoralised for the reason that
they cannot cultivate as per their demand. Meanwhile, Seva Kendra Arunachal
(East) SKA (E), has been working in this village since 2013 under the FARM project.
(E) was aware of the problem faced by the community and was motivating them to
take up the issue by themselves with the Government authorities. Team SKA (E)
saw the flame of motivation being ignited in a few youths of the village and it
was Reybo Rekhung, the Anchal Samiti Member (ASM), who took the lead. The ASM
along with a few others tried best to motivate the people and held several
rounds of meetings in the month of August 2014 on how best the problem of water
scarcity could e addressed. “I feel
contented about what I have done to motivate my own people”, said Mr. Reybo
It was just a matter of time when people started
developing interest towards the cause knowing the fact that it would benefit
them and also would put a permanent end to their sufferings. Reybo and his friends have made us realise
the fact that if we work together for a common cause, we may bring about the
change that we desire to see”, said Ms. Sengwan Tangha. The people of
Khimiyang village decided that they would collectively approach the Government
for a water reservoir from which the water could be channelized to the fields.
Team SKA (E) was supporting the community all efforts like facilitations. “We decided that we would rather directly approach
the local MLA than anyone else” said Kangsam Kinhum.
On 3rd September 2014, a group of
people led by Reybo approached the Local MLA at Miao with a formal letter requesting
his attention towards the issue raise y them. The MLA assured them that he would look into
the issue. The community met the MLA again on 15th October 2014 to
their utter happiness the saw the MLA forwarding their letter to the Department
of Water Resources, Government of Arunachal Pradesh. “We could not believe things happening so fast” said Ms Singhom Songkho.
The Department of Water Resources swung into
action and while approving the request, sanctioned the work within a month on 17th
November 2014. “I am overwhelmed with
this good news that we will have proper water supply for our agriculture from
now on”, said Songlang Sungkho.
The confident looking community of Khimiyang
village did not leave it there. They met again to ensure proper and smooth
functional of the reservoir and the canal so that that there no delays. The
community also volunteered to contribute labour for construction. The work was
finally completed on 20th May 2014.
Farmers of Khimiyang village are able to
irrigate their fields from the canal that was a result of their collective actions.
by: Mintu Mosahary, Coordinator, SKA East, Arunachal Pradesh
Prabal Sen, Caritas India, Guwahati, Assam