ASHAKIRANVADI – A VILLAGE SOAKED IN HAPPINESS
Water shortage is one of the main Indian village problems and solutions for the same need to be found. Thirteen years ago, the people of Ashakiranwadi, a tribal hamlet in Igatpuri District also had a dream. It has been fulfilled now.
Indian village problems and solutions: Journey from Vaitagvadi to Ashakiranvadi!
Until a few years ago, Ashakiranwadi (formerly called Vaitagvadi), was a remote hamlet without proper roads or regular water supply. The drought-like conditions made farming difficult, which was the only possible economic activity. People could only farm during the monsoon, using a step farming method. During the rest of the year, they looked elsewhere for employment. The fate of Vaitagvadi changed when former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam visited in 2005, as part of the Union Government’s Orchard Project in tribal villages. The hamlet was among twelve Maharashtrian villages chosen in 2003, for fruit tree plantation.
Dr Kalam’s interaction with the Vaitagvadi residents changed the status quo. He not only made them understand their responsibility towards the hamlet but also boosted their morale. He also gave the hamlet a new name, Ashakiranvadi. Thirteen years later, Ashakiranvadi has its own water tank with a capacity of 10,000 litres, while Igatpuri District is drought-stricken. Due to sufficient water supply, villagers no longer need to walk long distances to fetch water. There is also a water tap outside every household in their hamlet.
Ashakiranvadi has come a long way from Vaitagvadi. Apart from sufficient water, there are concrete roads connecting all the nearby villages, a primary healthcare centre and better farming facilities. An ongoing project slated for completion shortly will provide water in a 1200 acre vicinity. In an interview with Times of India, N Khokale, a farmer, said, “Kalam sir showed us the path to develop our village.”
It is inspiring to see how the villagers united in an effort to improve their hamlet for future generations. The journey of Ashakiranvadi’s villagers is worth a thousand salutes.