In April 2016, we appealed to our readers to help us transform a village. And within six months the mission has been almost accomplished.
Pimpaldhara is situated in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. Many years ago, some 30-40 odd farmers, along with their families, migrated to Pimpaldhara from the Londhari and Khadakdari villages of Pusad. They did so to live closer to their fields.
Despite its sizeable population, Pimpaldhara has by and large been ignored by the government. Moreover, the panchayats of both villages from where these farmers migrated have done nothing to help the residents of Pimpaldhara either.
In January 2016, Shivaprabha Charitable Trust visited Pimpaldhara and found that the village was facing acute water scarcity. There was no provision for drinking water and sanitation was a major problem as there were no toilets. The village had no electricity, hence no street lights either – wild animals from the neighbouring forest would often wander close to the residents’ homes. The high price of kerosene made it impossible for many people to use stoves for cooking, so they would regularly cut trees from the nearby jungle to use wood as cooking fuel.
Shivaprabha Charitable Trust of Pune and The Better India decided to join hands to transform the lives of the villagers of Pimpaldhara. And our readers wholeheartedly participated in this campaign as well.
We all connected to help this village through the stories shared on The Better India. Shantabai from Pimpaldhara shared her woes about living in a village that had little water and no electricity.
She told us that the two wells, which were the only source of water for the villagers, were drying up. Everyone, including children, had to wake up early and walk miles to fetch water.
So, after the fundraiser, the first piece of business was to install a hand operated borewell pump in the village. Shantabai shared her joy by telling us how the hand pump works:
“Some 10-15 people came and installed a hand pump here. So now, even kids can get water if needed. The hand pump is so much easier to operate. Have you seen it? You just have to pull the handle down and so much water comes out,” she said.
The village still does not have electricity. Although Shantabai did not complain about this, she was worried that using kerosene lanterns after sunset was becoming unaffordable due to the rise in kerosene prices.
With the help of the funds raised, Shivaprabha distributed solar lanterns to each household. And Shantabai could not be more thankful!
Aside from the lanterns, three solar street lights were also installed. Now, children can be seen playing outdoors after sunset without the fear of wild animals wandering into the village.
Shantabai also used a mud chulha, which consumes wood for fuel, for cooking. The smoke emanating from this chulha was harmful to her health. She would spend a major part of her day gathering wood in the nearby jungle.
Shantabai and the villagers of Pimpaldhara were overjoyed when our readers raised enough money to buy a solar cooker for every household in the village.
We thank our readers for bringing light and happiness to the lives of so many people in this small corner of India.