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‘I have never seen such enthusiasm in the villagers before…

‘I have never seen such enthusiasm in the villagers before…

‘I have never seen such enthusiasm in the villagers before…

’When our team spoke to the residents of Nibapur village in Dahanu Block of Palghar district, Maharashtra, they expressed a need for a community centre for meetings, celebrations or simply for the children to play in. Several constructive dialogues took place within the community after which a collective decision was taken to build a community centre and a garden under Goonj’s ‘Dignity For Work’ (DFW) initiative which would be useful for the entire community.Observing the enthusiasm and to partake in, one of the villagers decided to contribute a plot of land for the same and around 63 people gathered to work on its infrastructure (20.5ft in length, 15ft height and 31.5 ft breadth). The villagers further decided to create a garden and a compound boundary to protect the centre and 46 people were engaged in that activity. They also made benches, especially for elderly people, pregnant women and kids to sit during community gatherings. With their sincere and consistent efforts, the villagers finished the entire activity in eight days. “I have never seen such enthusiasm in the villagers before. This would really help the kids during these uncertain times to study and play with each other,” Nitin Kuwar, one of the participants, expressed. All the participants were rewarded with family kits which had ration and other essentials.Belonging to the adivasi community, who earned their livelihood primarily through farming, the families could just have bare minimum returns and the nationwide lockdown had made the situation even more difficult. Adding to this, the prolonged closure of schools left the children with no place to study. They were either just stuck within the four walls of their modest homes or at the most, some entered the school playgrounds which were closed for months and risked being bitten by reptiles or stray animals. Amidst all this, the DFW activity brought a ray of hope into their lives as they not only fulfilled their basic needs, they also had a sense of satisfaction and a promise within to ensure the development of the village they called home.

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