Catalyst in Rural Development
NREGS Madhya Pradesh
Magic of Harvesting Water: Galia, a villager
living in Surani Panchayat in Dhar district understood
the importance of soil moisture for getting a good crop.
However, he had no money to invest in a structure that
would help him to harvest water which would lead to
better crops. After NREGS started, he approached the
Gram Panchayat for getting a small farm pond constructed
on his land. The Gram Panchayat constructed a farm pond
on the lands of 33 needy families like Galia. This also
gave wage employment to the people of the village. The
increased soil moisture and the availability of water
for protective irrigation from the farm pond enabled
Galia to get 10 quintals of farm produce. The twenty
three thousand rupees (Rs.23,000/-) that the Gram Panchayat
spent on the farm pond has brought rich harvests for
Galia and other like him. The have now learnt to harvest
water and crops, ensuring prosperity in the long run.
A Farm Labour Employs Farm Workers: Phoolobai,
a widow living in Gorakhar village in Betul district
used to have a hard time keeping fires burning. Her
husband had died young and her sm
plot of un-irrigated land did not yield enough for the
family. Her son had to discontinue his school education.
She and her son worked on the land of other farmers
to earn their livelihood. The Panchayat constructed
a well under the Kapildhara sub-scheme of NREGS, on
her land. In the first year, she earned Rs.10,000/-
by selling her produce. Now, she grows vegetables on
her four acres of land and sells them in the market.
Her son Arjun, has stated going to school again. She
also engages other needy labourers in her field to assist
her. From being a poor destitute labour, Phoolobai is
now a self-sufficient woman, who is also providing employment
A Pond of Hopes: The placid water of the farm pond
mirrors the hope and self assurance reflected in the
eyes of Hiralal and his wife Premvati. The farm pond
constructed in their land by the Gram Panchayat of Amanal
village in Mandla district from NREGS funds has enabled
them to grow vegetables on a piece of land that was
lying fallow for 7 - 8 months every year. Today, they
take a crop and then they grow vegetables like brinjals
and chillies on the field bunds. They have also stocked
fish seeds that have grown. This is a source of additional
income for them. NREGS has brought self sufficiency
for Hiralal's family.
Nothing Is Far Now: A small all weather road, connected
Jova village of Narsinghpur to new opportunities. The
village, which remained cut off due to lack of a road
remained backward and people used to migrate in search
of better opportunities. Works opened under NREGS provided
wage employment in the village itself. Phool singh,
who used to go out earlier in search of a job, now finds
work in the village itself. Janki Bai, a farm labour
works on the NREGS worksite in peace, knowing that her
little baby is being taken care of in the creche provided
under NREGS. The labours are now connected with modern
financial systems because their wages are paid through
bank accounts. The road built through NREGS funds has
fulfilled the sarpanch of Jova, Smt. Devkunwar Parihar's
dream of ensuring that all pregnant women of her village
can reach the hospital easily for delivery. She glows
with pride as she looks at the road, safe in the knowledge
that pregnant women and sick children will never have
to die a painful death at home during the rainy season
because of lack of road connectivity.
Enthusiasm Is Back: Jeevan lal, a poor farmer living
in Kons Gram Panchayat in Satna District, had lost all
enthusiasm in life. His small un-irrigated patch of
land barely yielded enough to survive. Then, the Panchayat
constructed a well under Kapildhara sub-scheme in NREGS,
on his land. "My miseries have now ended" he says with
a sparkle in his eyes. During the last season, he grew
onions on his field with the help of water from the
well. These have fetched him a good price in the market.
He now looks forward to growing many more healthy and
profitable crops in his land.
My Work Is Being Praised Now: Chamanlal Panchtilak
of Bhitola in Birwa Gram Panchayat in Balaghat district,
is an important man today. After all, he is the man
whom the district collector himself has visited. Till
a little while ago, Chamanlal was just another poor
farmer. Then, a Kapildhara well was dug on his land
by the Gram Panchayat. Showing great enterprise, Chamanlal
decided to grow vegetables on a patch of land which
when un-irrigated yielded just enough for him to survive.
Today, he stands proudly amongst his field of healthy
vegetables. People from neighboring villages visit his
field to see his success for themselves and seek his
advice. His fame has spread so much so that the district
collector, himself visited to see the impact of Kapildhara
and congratulated Chamanlal.
Collective Efforts Upscales Productivity: The farmer
of Sihaval block in Sidhi district knew the problem.
They also knew the solution. But, they did not have
the means to adopt the solution. Farmers like Lokmani
Yadav, Jagaprasa Kevat, Ram Sevak, Ramji, Rajmani, Mohan
Singh and others were frustrated because each year the
rain water took away precious top soil and left little
moisture for the summer months. They knew that building
bunds along their fields would check soil erosion and
increase soil moisture. However, they had no money to
do this. NREGS can do their help. 1100 running meters
of field bunds were constructed at a cost of Rs.90,000/-.
All the farmers laboured together to build the bunds.
Their efforts have paid off. Soil erosion reduced considerably
and the productivity has grown up. Collective enterprise
has almost doubled the farm production.
Kapil Dhara Brings Smiles: Many have bid adieu to
abject poverty like Juggu Dhannaji, Balu Dhuraji, Andar
Singh Bhanaji, Badrilal, Ramaj, Nandu Dulha, Nandu Nagu
and Dulli Bai, Amar Singh. They belong to Bisalkhedi
Gram Panchayat in Aalot Janapad Panchayat in Ratlam
district. The wells constructed under sub-scheme Kapil
Dhara have ensured water even during the summer. These
small farmers can now compete with the resource-rich
farmers. They have got a good yield of rabi and vegetables.
Jaggu informs that he has a little more than two hectare
land. "I was taking only Kharif crop because I had no
irrigation facility. For the rest of the year, my family
members used to work as farm labour in the fields belonging
to well-off farmers. The irrigation facility I have
got under NREGS has really proved a precious gift. "
We stand tall now; with a new found confidence," he
adds, with a new found confidence.
I Got The Way To Prosperity: "Nandan Phalodyan"
a sub scheme of NREGS has changed the destiny of a villager,
Tawal singh who belongs to Gram Panchayat Kuklah in
Gotegaon block of Narsinghpur district. Though Tawal
Singh owned 0.646 hectare land, this piece of land was
not enough for the survival of his whole family. His
family barely subsisted on the income from the land.
But, in the month of June 2008, Tawal Singh came to
know about the "Nandan Phalodyan" sub-scheme of NREGS.
He got interested and decided to get the benefit of
this scheme. After detailed discussion , the Gram Panchayat
sanctioned a project of Rs . 4.58 Lakh for him. Tawal
Singh planted lemon trees on his land. He also get wage
employment during the plantation work on his land. He
tends to the plants lovingly. At the same time, he has
also started growing vegetables on the land, which has
brought him a regular income. The State Quality Monitor
Visits his plantation regularly and advises him about
the care of plants. Tawal Singh's life is now full of
One Tank Many Benefits: Inadequate availability
of water was the main curse for the villagers of Gram
Panchayat Malwasi in Bajna block of Ratlam district.
Lack of water meant that their farms were un-irrigated
. In order to survive many of the villagers went out
to seek work. This problem of the villagers diminished
as soon as the Gram Panchayat decided to make a tank
in the village. Gram Panchayat of Malwasi proposed to
make a tank under NREGS on a government land. After
approval of the proposal a tank was made in an area
of 2 hectares. During the construction of the percolation
tank, 137 job card holder families of the village got
wage employment. In this project, 3067 person days were
generated out of which 1626 person days was generated
by women only. This percolation tank has proved to be
boon for the villagers as they got employment in their
own village . At the same time the water from the tank
provided sufficient water for irrigation and improved
soil moisture. With the help of this tank, the villagers
of surrounding villages also got moisture in their fields.
In the tank there is water round the year. remained
around the year and about 5 hectare lands are irrigated
through this water. At the same time, animals need not
move far from the village for drinking water. Now villagers
of Malwasi are getting many more benefits through this
percolation tank. The water of the tank not only benefited
the villagers but it is also increased the greenery
of the village. This is the magic of a tank.
Guaranteed Growth: "A number of rural development
schemes were introduced but did not perform expectedly,
NREGS has really guaranteed growth", Observes Ramlal
Vaishya - a Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat Itar in Sidhi
district. He says that NREGS has contributed to the
development of villages considerably. His Gram Panchayat
alone has witnessed the construction of 85 irrigation
wells in just two years. Over 95 thousand hectare has
come under irrigation. Two tanks and four cemented roads
have really accelerated the pace of development. Field
bunding on farm lands has benefited at least 30 families
by increasing farm productivity. Recalling the past,
Vaishya says that people were not even getting potable
water. They had to travel miles to fetch water. It was
a dream to have water for irrigation. They used to grow
millets to somehow feed their families. Thanks to NREGS,
these miserable days are over, he adds. The convergence
of NREGS with other rural development schemes like Swarna
Jayanty Gram Swarojgar Yojana has doubled its impact
on development profile of villages. Ramlala Vaishya,
a Sarpancha of Itar Gram Panchayat of Janapad Panchayat
Devsar in Sidhi district explains how convergence has
brought about a positive change. "Food insecurity coupled
with water crisis had plagued all four villages in my
Gram Panchayat. Now the scenario is totally different,
"he says adding that I have not seen any rural development
schemes in last 35 years in Itar Gram Panchayat performing
so well." He attributes the ongoing faster developments
in villages to implementation of NREGS. Vaishya observes
that the NREGA has really proved a catalyst in development
process bringing smiles to millions of rural people.
Recharging through Percolation Tank The tribal village
of Junnardeo Janpad Panchayat in Chhindwara district
had learnt to live with water scarcity. Crop production
was badly affected. During the summers, many people
were forced to migrate because of the shortage of water.
Those who stayed behind, travelled 2-3 hours to get
drinking water for themselves and their cattle. The
advent of NREGS provided an apportunity to the villagers
to solve their long standing problem. The Gram Sabha
decided to construct a Percolation tank with the help
of NREGS funds. This decision changed the lives of the
villagers. The construction of the tanks increased the
water levels in over a dozen wells in the surrounding
area. Farmers like Bhaiyalal, Bharat, Samlu and Vishnu
confirmed that water level has increased in their wells.
Bhaiyalal has grown wheat for the first time on his
small 2 hectare plot of land. The sarpanch of the village
Ghudan Uike, smiles as he mentions that 10 families
in the village will be taking up fish farming too in
NREGS- for irrigation Medhiki village, situated
along side Murna river in Umaria district is now heading
towards prosperity. The NREGS has acted as a catalyst
in the development of the village. The construction
of a storage weir on Ajgarha ghat was started in May
2006 and it was completed by November 2006. There were
0.78 lakh persondays of employment was generated and
out of this 0.49 lakh persondays was generated by women.
The hard work of the villagers paid rich dividends.
The storage weir has enough water to provide irrigation
facility to 125 hectares of land belonging to 50 farmers.
They are now taking both rabi and khariff crops and
are growing crops of their choice. The weir has also
raised the water level in the surrounding areas. It
also provides ample water for the cattle as well as
for other purposes. The farmer of the village are grateful
to the NREGS for its impact on their lives.
Health Services Within Reach: The People of Kumharau
Gram Panchayat in Shivpuri district are familiar with
the problem of living without an all weather road. During
the rainy season, their village remained cut-off, from
the rest of the block. Access to health care facilities
was disrupted during the rainy season. When NREGS was
launched in the district, one of the first works that
the Gram Panchayat decided to undertake was the construction
of a road from Agarpur to Kumharau. The road was built
at the cost of Rs.2.94 Lakh and generated 2810 persondays
of employment. This road now acts as a lifeline for
the people living in the village. They take their agricultural
produce to the market with ease. They also take their
sick family members to the community heath center ,
Kolaras for treatment. The road has provided easy access
to health and medical services for the villagers. The
expressions of worry on the faces of the villagers have
now been replaced with smiles.
Easy Access To Health And Education Nandkudi village
in Betul district on Pattan-Aathner road and is 35 kms
from Aathner . Health and higher education facilities
are available at Aathner which is also the local market.
It was difficult for the villagers of Nandkudi to access
these facilities because there was no road connectivity
to Aathner. The job seekers under NREGS in the village
were asked to construct a road under the Scheme. About
Rs. 5 lakh was spent on road construction generating
4,330 person days employment for the needy. The result
is that Nandkudi has now got road connectivity to Aathner.
Life has become smoother for villagers ensuring them
easy access to health, educational, market facilities
and other services. The road has proved to be a lifeline
for the people of Nandkudi village.
"I am proud to be a farmer": "From being a farm
labour, I have become a farmer myself. Now my children
are receiving education. The NREGS has changed my perception
towards life", says Bal Kishanu of Patankala village
in Gunaur Janapad of Panna district. Bal Kishanu had
two hectares of un-irrigated land. He used to take only
one crop a year and was finding it hard to feed his
family. He was forced to migrate and work on the fields
of other farmers in the remaining months. Bal Kishanu
sought work under the NREGS and got it. He worked for
the expansion of a pond in Jurhai village. There he
came to know that the Gram Panchayat could help him
construct a well on his own land. He applied for the
same and in December 2007 got a well sanctioned. A permanent
source of water on his land encouraged Bal Kishanu to
become a full-fledged farmer. He grew pulses. The Department
of Agriculture provided him an irrigation pump set that
enabled Bal Kishanu to grow gram as a second crop on
his land. Thus, from a labourer he became a farmer.
"I am proud to be a farmer", he says confidently.
A Path Opens Up Many Paths: Teiyamar village in
Bakswaha block of Chattarpur district is located in
a remote corner of the district. Life was tough as there
was not enough water to get good crops. The only rain
water nallah would hamper road connectivity in the rainy
season, but dry up soon after wards . NREGS provided
an opportunity to the villagers to improve their lives.
A new stop dam cum causeway built from NREGS funds ensured
that there was enough water for irrigating the crops.
The surrounding area also benefited through improved
soil moisture. The causeway also provided road connectivity.
Now children have started attending school throughout
the year. Health facilities and nearby markets can also
be accessed . NREGS has opened up new roads to prosperity
for the villagers of Teiyamar.