Water For Walkhed just became the perfect example of good citizenry at play
“Aap na mariye, swarg na jaaiye” An old phrase that literally means that one must die to experience Heaven for ourselves, but actually intends to say that we must do things on our own, if we want to get things done. Aditya Kankaria, working at a reputed multi-national, was one of those people who was so disturbed by the farmer suicides in drought-hit Maharashtra, that he decided to get things done himself.
Joined in by his mother and his buddy Dipesh Tank, they toured several villages in the state to find ways they could help. In the process of zeroing in on a village, they met the collector of Walkhed who sought their support in building a one kilometre long canal which would double up as a reservoir for rain water for their village. The canal would help them store water and become self-sustainable.
The cost: A whopping 10 lakhs.
Under Maharashtra Government’s “Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan”, the village would receive 50% of the expenses. The villagers said they would somehow manage 25%. But 25% was still a question mark. Kankaria and Tank sought the guidance of Sridhar Ramakrishnan, a common friend, who got on board right away.
With just 3 to 4 weeks for the monsoon to arrive, on May 9, 2016, a Facebook page called “Water For Walkhed” was set up to invite crowd-funding from anyone who would want to support this campaign. The goal was to find 500 odd people who would give at least 500 rupees each, knowing that the entire process was being constantly monitored, so that the target sum could be reached, and work could begin.
Rapid shares across friends’ social media network had the funds pouring in, albeit in small amounts, until a generous samaritan decided to gift a large sum to fill the huge gap. It was time to get into action.
The JCB operator was hired and the work began in earnest, with an entire village hopeful that this canal would be their road to freedom from despair. Locals also worked on this day and night, aware that the last two years their fields had been deprived of water, and their homes of prosperity.
Water For Walkhed Facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1188735611178957/?fref=nf)
Here is what Dr Arvind Lokhande had to say at the inauguration…
The NGO “Aadharwad” liaised between the villagers and the team in Bombay, while the word got around.
On June 11, the group posted pictures of the canal which is now ready to welcome an abundant monsoon.
Happy endings are not just for the movies …..