Of late, people, especially the youth have had better awareness of the status of our agriculture and environment. In most of the places, people respond more practically and carry out many a thing themselves collectively and with the help of Self Help Groups, NGOs and other voluntary organizations in their respective places. Particularly, instead of depending on the Governmental machineries, people join as a group and help the rural people such as cleaning up the ponds, tanks, dredging etc. so that the water level is improved and maintained in all places for the sake of agriculture. Social media such as face book, whatsapp etc play a vital role in this direction.
Collective Efforts & ‘Thuli’:-
Chockalingapuram, Kalangaperi and Meenakshiapuram are adjoining villages in Samucikapuram panchyat, Rajapalayam taluk in Virudhunagar district. The check dam in the canal passing through these villages has become dilapidated for more than 25 years and as a result, the water supply to these villages has been terribly affected. Thanks to the collective effort of the people, it has been now set right, thus saving nearly 15 lakhs litre water by renovating the dam fully. This has now helped the villages to get water, save agricultural field operations and also enabled the surrounding places to have better water supply.
Muthukumar, the leader of the group in co-ordinating this uphill task says that despite their initiative and follow-up, the Government did not come forward to help even in terms of sanctioning the request for renovation. As a result of this nearly 15 lakhs water was being wasted every year. Hence he approached the support of an NGO, called, ‘Thuli’ in getting the sanction from the Government. The next task was raising funds and collection was made from the villagers and other generous-minded persons and ultimately the renovation work was commenced on July 19, 2017. Along with this work, they arranged for cutting and removing of Seemai Karuvela trees spread throughout the banks of the river. Most fortunately, by the time they finished removal of the destructive trees, there was a heavy rain which helped the water table rise and fill up the dam. Muthukumar proudly shares that they have achieved this task after many a struggle and effort. After nearly 25 years, they are able to see water overflowing the dam and water being available in all the villages. Muthukumar rightly opines that but for the collective support and cooperation from the organization, ‘Thuli’ and village youth, it would not have been possible to complete this work successfully. He says he is indebted to the general public, donors, helping organization and especially the youth.
Another point to be noted is that they had already removed the seemai karuveli trees in their villages some three years ago.
Muthukumar deserves handsome encomium for his initiative and social responsibility that he has displayed in this area and he will be a role model for other people in the state to take up such initiatives to save water and enrich agriculture.
(This article written in Tamil by Durai Nagarajan has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)