Meegni & Himmatpura were troubled by water scarcity like several other villages of the region
Meegni and Himmatpura villages are to Bundelkhand region. The region is infamous for prolonged droughts and migration. Water scarcity is the major reason for these migrations.
15 years ago, Meegni and Himmatpura were parched lands where agriculture was completely dependent on monsoon.
Farmers could barely grow any crop on the water deficient dry soil. Women in the villages walk for kilometers to fetch water for their household needs. Children in the village were not sent to schools. Poverty and hunger was looming over the village. But today the villages have transformed.
Even in March, one can see lush green fields and flowing water in the villages. Most of the houses are now Pucca and each of them have livestockes. The reason for the transformation of these villages is due to the water works that have been done by the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). A check dam was built in Himmatpura village in 2005 under MGNREGA.
This was done with the help of Parmarth, a social service organisation and the villagers. After one year when the check dam was filled with water, the water level of hand pumps and wells in the Himmatpura village increased. After seeing the success of Himmatpura Village, neighbouring Meegni also started building check dams.
From 2010 onwards, the village made five check dams one after the other. The biggest contribution came from MGNREGA daily wage workers. As a result of these check dams, water started to stay in the villages. Farmlands started getting water and water level in Hand pumps and wells increased.
“We used to produce three-four quintals mustard in one acre before, but now we are able to produce 10-15 quintal in the same area, said Ram Bharat Tiwari, a farmer from Meegni village. Now with enough water, these villages started to cultivate winter crops. Earlier we grew only one crop, that too was dependent on rain. We could only grow Mustard here.
But now wheat grows here and it has become permanent. We can now grow two crops in a year,” said Rajesh Kumar, Sarpanch of Meegni village.
In 2000, not even a single acre of land was irrigated but in 2021, around 800 acre of land got irrigated. Also in 2000, there were only 15 buffaloes in Meegni village. The number increased to 150 buffaloes in 2021. Today migration has come down significantly in these two villages.
Children are going to schools, people are living in better economic conditions. Today these two villages are not only transformed due to MGNREGA but are also showing way to other villages in Bundelkhand.
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