In Sandhiha village, 30 km from Hazaribagh district headquarters in Jharkhand and situated in a valley guarded by mountains, people from all communities live together in harmony. Majority of the villagers usually migrate to the city for work. However, due to COVID and the following lockdown, they are all back and stuck in their homes without any work.
“It has become very difficult for us to run our house and as of now, it is not known how long we will have to fight this disaster. Right now we want to do farming for the living and survival of our family, as that is our only means. But we do not have any water source so we depend on rainwater only. And even that does not last long. Apart from agriculture, we do not have any other option or resources to feed ourselves,” Vinod Kumar Mahto, a local, said.
“When Goonj team visited our area, they organized a meeting to discuss our concerns. They told us to make a small pond under their Dignity For Work (DFW) initiative, through which we can save rainwater so that people can continue irrigation in the field by using the collected water,” he added.
The very next day after the meeting, the villagers came together and made a 10-foot-deep pond (30x30ft in size). After the activity, Mr Mahto said, “Now we will continue our irrigation work in our fields and will save ourselves from hunger during this pandemic because we are not as much afraid of COVID as we are of hunger.”
Storyteller: Ajit, Team Goonj