A hamlet on its own
‘Many a mickle makes a muckle’, goes the adage. And going by the saying, a small village in the backward district of Nagarkurnool is fast emerging a self-reliant habitation as the villagers do not wait for the government aid that never comes in time of need, but squirrel away their little earnings for the village development.
Nagarkurnool: ‘Many a mickle makes a muckle’, goes the adage. And going by the saying, a small village in the backward district of Nagarkurnool is fast emerging a self-reliant habitation as the villagers do not wait for the government aid that never comes in time of need, but squirrel away their little earnings for the village development.
Setting a precedent of sorts, about 150 members of the Gangaputra Sangham (fishermen’s association) formed 40 years ago in Kondanagula in Balmur mandal in the district have proved to be a model for other villages in striving to achieve development without waiting for others, that too sans any government assistance. Each member contributes Rs 500 once in ten years towards the colony’s development. During the Gangamma festival each house puts in Rs 50. Now, the committee has a bank balance of over Rs 40 lakh.
By forming themselves into a committee, they have not only arranged for water supply during summer in the colony, but also launched streetlights and laid CC roads. They also constructed a temple for Gangamma, the deity worshipped by the community, thus proving to be an eye-opener for both the officials and people’s representatives.
Members of the committee do not like to wait for someone to take up development works and seem to have no trust in officials as also people’s representatives. They resolved to do the developmental works themselves, by sharing various responsibilities, starting with arranging for water supply, initially going in for a bore-well and subsequently taps for each house, by contributing money through chits.
The committee arranged a water pit in front of each house. It appointed a person belonging to their caste on salary basis to arrange for water supply. It set up a purified water plant, charging only Rs 3 for a pot of water to the colony residents. For others, it costs Rs 5. The women residents are happy that the colony has been able to overcome drinking water problems during summer, while others are facing hardship.
Young members attend to repairs of streetlights whenever a problem arises. They ensure that cattle in the colony do not face water shortage. The committee recently spent Rs 20 lakh for constructing the temple’s compound wall. Its members told The Hans India that they had to do it themselves, after repeated pleas to the ruling party leadership fell on deaf ears.
The Gangaputra community is firm about implementing certain customs and traditions, like attending functions in a fellow resident’s house. At least, a person from every house has to compulsorily attend the function. If not, none from the community will be seen at functions organised by the absentee members as a ban is imposed on such people. In case of death, the committee will hand over Rs 5,000 as funeral expenses.
Yet, the colony residents grumble that they have not so far received any assistance from the local gram panchayat and that they have been denied the benefits of the government’s welfare schemes. The committee has only one request to the government - to allow the community to enjoy fishing rights in the Rasool Tank located on the village outskirts.
By V Narender Chary