As a part of course in IMDR, we went to check out Hiware Bazaar and I was completely unaware of the place before. Here is the summation of my experiences that little trip has bought.
Hiware Bazaar is a village located in the drought prone district of Ahmednagar in Maharashtra State. The district receives little rainfall, approximately 250 mm per year ion the normal rainfall but since the past three years it has received very scanty rainfall as much as 50mm. The condition is worsened still by the perennially low water table in highly porous soils that hardly retains any moisture. Today, it not only serves its own needs of water but also provides drinking water to other neighboring villages. The villagers became self-reliant with their efforts under the able guidance of Mr. Popat Rao Pawar.
To deal with the water crisis, the watershed programme was planned and implemented. For soil and water conservation the villagers came together and offered voluntary labour to facilitate the implementation of the watershed programme. For this the near by hill is covered with CCT (continuous contour trenches), loose boulder structure, earthen bund, earthen nala bund and check dam. And all this reduce the speed of rain water and thus give it more time to seep down, and also checks soil erosion. The seeping of water helps in increasing the ground water table, thus making more water available for the people of Hiware bazaar.
Mr. Pawar said that Hiware bazaar is just like any other village, the only difference is in the people of Hiware bazaar and their values. With Mr. Pawar came the five principles that changed the game rules:
* Charai bandi (Ban on free grazing)
* Kurhad bandi (Ban on cutting trees)
* Nasha bandi (Ban on liquor)
* Family planning
* Shramadan (Voluntary labour)
The trip to Hiware bazaar is very inspiring and interesting. To listen to Popat rao pawar and see the work he has done is very memorable. I have seen some Development programmes, but Hiware Bazaar is the showcase for all the right and good things that a man of conviction can do. Changing the village with a bad reputation and with little resource into a self sustaining model of development is a mighty task. The efforts spilled by Popat Rao Pawar to educate and to empower the villagers marks the hallmark of leadership. He comes across as a very well-informed person. His knowledge is much wider and deeper in scope. It was refreshing to listen to a man who is completely satisfied by the work he did and the life he has in contributing to the betterment of the people.