- There are many village committees that have accomplished a number of development activities along with water conservation activities. As an example I am narrating the activities accomplished by the water conservation village committee of Gariyadhar village of Bhavnagar district.
In 1999 a meeting was called in Gariyadhar to start water conservation activities in the village. The people of Gariyadhar who who had settled in Surat, were invited to attend the meeting. Along with the villagers, the leading persons of the village were also invited. The leading persons of Gariyadhar, living in Surat, attended the meeting in large numbers. I presented each and every detail of the Water Conservation Project. Giving a simple example I said that if we give a small amount of Rs 500 or 1000 to a person, he can solve a small problem of his life with that small amount. But it can’t give him a life of self respect and dignity. If he wants to live a life of dignity, his regular income should increase. This can be done only if we launch a Water Conservation Project in the village. The issue of water management was very important. The Water Conservation Project will generate many positive effects as follows:
- Water level will come up
- The income of farmers, labourers, and shopkeepers will rise
- Hand in hand with better income will come an independent life of dignity
Those who were present in the meeting were convinced and impressed by it. In this meeting a vow to launch a Water Conservation Project was taken. Announcements of funds were made. The population of this village was 40000. To keep all the people together was not less than a challenge. The village people were also convinced about the profits of the Water Conservation Project. It was planned to construct 200 check-dams and ponds. With the funds acquired from the government scheme, farmers’ monetary contribution in proportion to the number of VINGHAS of land he owned, and the funds donated by the rich villagers settled in Surat, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the Water Conservation Project was accomplished in a year. Hats off to Gariyadhar water conservation village committee. It deserves a lot of appreciation. Every year the committee checks and maintains all the check-dams and ponds. 15 years have rolled by. Today the committee has very good monetary funds. All the people of the village have come very close to one another. The leading persons of Gariyadhar, living in Surat, frequently meet the people of the village. An excellent atmosphere of closeness and unity prevails in the village. Today their development activities are not limited to water conservation alone. They have successfully carried out many other welfare and development activities in the village. It was decided to build a well equipped hospital in the village. This target was achieved in 2 years. Today Gariyadhar has an excellent hospital equipped with a very good building, all the necessary instruments and machines, efficient doctors and capable management. Everyday at least 500 persons get medical treatment in the hospital for very nominal fees. The village has a very good GAUSHALA. Many trees have been planted.
The Water Conservation Project not only raised the water level but also established a mutual relationship among the native people of the village settled in the city. Among the people of the village a friendly rapport was established. Water stress being reduced, the total agricultural production increased greatly. The village got a fresh and green environment. In a nutshell, all round development of the village was accomplished. Isn’t Gariyadhar a wonderful example of peace, prosperity and progress?
In this way the village committee has carried out a number of development activities.