Rs 4 lakhs sanctioned from NREGA to construct farm ponds in Himarpodi village, Rayagada District of Odisha. “Now we will be able to cultivate throughout the year”, Dhansi Mandangi, VAT President, Himarpodi.
Himarpodi is a revenue village of Kumbhikota Gram Panchayat. It has a population of 367 from 87 Kandha tribal families. The villagers are mainly dependent on agriculture and agri-wage labour. Paddy, Ragi and millets are the primary crops for the villagers. Maximum farming is being done in the monsoon period only so only single crop is done in the village due to shortage of water. The food security status in this village is quite better as compare to other villages in the Gram Panchayat.
Ekta has been implementing IGSSS’s SOUL project in the village from 2013 and initiated many activities towards promoting farm and non-farm based activities by involving VAT, youth and SHG members. Nistu Mandangi, the Sarpanch of Kumbhikota is from this village. He is a very active and takes special care to motivate the households to apply the SOUL project learnings. The village action team of Himarpodi regularly consults with Nistu.
Water scarcity for agriculture is the biggest challenge facing the predominantly agricultural households in the village. During their regular meetings, the VAT decided to renovate the old, damaged pond. Nistu accompanied the VAT regularly to the block and district officials with their application for pond renovation. In April, 4 lakhs were sanctioned to Nistu Mandangi under the Gopabandu, Gramina Yojana for construction of farm pond in their village.
Nistu donated 0.70 cents of his land for the pond construction. The work began in May 2016. 50 villagers are engaged in cash for work for the pond construction which will be completed by June 2016. Nistu is planning to convert the pond into a model multi-farming structure for the Gram Panchayat.
Once constructed, around 20 families will be able to irrigate their land. The VAT members are very happy to have been able to mobilize government funds for a permanent resource for their village.
“Now we will able to do double crop throughout the year,” says Dhansi Mandangi, President of the VAT.