Thursday, 21 February 2013

Building futures - the handprints to come.

Amrod Village - Madhya pradesh
A wonderful welcome in the lovely tranquil farming village of Amrod. We had a coconut presented to each WaterAid supporter which was a symbol of "warmth and love to you". There is a total of 84 families (570 people) in its village and water is seasonal and scarce. Open defecation was practiced by its villagers.
Villagers were met in the outset in evenings away from the main time villagers were out on farm work. In Sept 2012 a plan was put together with input from whole community. ...children, women, minority groups etc. Because the fields are full of crops the space was limited and people were using roadsides to go to the loo. Womens safety was an issue after an incident occurred to a young girl.  The community decided it would be 100% open defecation free. And it looks like by the end of next month that will be done. It has only 9 loos to go! And the community are so enthused they are taking their message out to surrounding villages.
Amar singh decided was the first not to wait for the government but to build his own latrine as he was in fear of his wife's safety when going out. The others have followed on inspired by his initiative and example. Amar told me there was probably 4 or 5 children under  the age of 5 that died each year and that was due to the sanitation issues mostly. The government and the villagers are now working towards a piped water supply. The village now has a 5 year plan..... it dreams and works towards a safe future.
This child is the same age as my daughter. She watches her father as he builds her a safer cleaner future. - The New Toilet

I watched a good man today move bricks and build up the layers into the wall of his new latrine.  The pits had already been dug and this was the next stage.  It takes about 8 days to dig the whole latrine and construct the brickwork. He worked hard as his two beautiful daughter's watched on, the eldest sometimes passing him a brick. He is doing this for them to ensure his family can go to the toilet in safety and it is much more hygienic.

We were I invited into their house and given a bed to sit on whilst we asked a few questions more. His wife was so elegant, loving and kind. In her home surrounded by her warmth and kindly manner it struck me with a defensive slap to the face how I didn't want this lovely sweet natured lady with her daughters to be on a roadside for life's necessities. So you can imagine how reassured I felt to see her dignity and security being restored through simple bricks and mortar. Having myself the opportunity to dig some of the pits and add in some bricks of my own and thus have some small part in rebuilding their "future" was most gratifying. I can leave in the knowledge that many more hand prints can be added by future generations on the wall - That all the children will grow up to see their own children's hand prints adorn the wall of this house.

This little girl sits on the family bed also called a cot

Now the people of this Village spread the word to other communities "You can have this".

 Futures changed for the better.

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