Study Tour Shows a New Horizon
Gram Panchayat Siha is 20 km away from district headquarters with the population of 1257 of 238 families. Before LSS’s intervention the villagers were ignorant about the water sanitation issues. They were also not aware about the government schemes under TSC. People were habituated with open defecation and were reluctant to construct toilets. Mrs. Uma Sao was the Sarpach of Grampanchayat Siha. She had an exposure in December 2008 to Lundra Nirmal Grampanchayat of Ambikapur through LSS under “Sanitation Movement” Project. That tour had a great impact on her life which changed her prospect of working. When she return from there she determined that she will initiate the water sanitation issue in her GP and will promote people to build up the GP as Nirmal Panchayat. And she started motivating people for construction of toilet with the cooperation of Mitanins. She arranged meetings with ICDS workers, PRIs and community people on the same issue. She started her journey towards build up her panchayat as Nirmal Panchayat. Till date near about 80% toilet construction has been completed in this panchayat and all this is due to the major contribution of the Sarpanch. In the new election also she is elected as the sarpanch again from Siha, an unreserved seat. For her contribution towards the panchayat she is getting people’s support and she also co-operates people at her level best. After the exposure she attended all the capacity building and consultation and sensitization programs of LSS under WA project and gradually her understanding towards safe drinking water and sanitation practices increased. She always tried to impart the knowledge to people of her panchayat.
Another prospect is to avail safe drinking water and water for domestic and other needs of villagers was also challenge for her. Because there was only one hand pump in this village which was always dry in summer but now there is 5 bore wells to avail water to community. And she also reserves the water of village tanks from irrigation with a joint effort gathering 125 women. She also safe water from wastage by preparing a rule for water supply, that is, thrice daily.