India is a country with various distinct places. Some are too cold while others too hot and yet others with moderate temperature and all these states comprising makes India a diverse country. Taking the case of the Thar Desert, it is considered to be one of the most arid and inhospitable places. Since a long time poverty was rampant in this area of the state of Rajasthan. But, from quite some time now, situations are getting better as the women from the community living in Thar have taken it upon themselves to free the community of poverty.
The area has severe water scarcity. Droughts frequent it almost all the time. Even the soil is least suitable for crops to prosper and so food problems hover over the villages. The men, in a bid to provide for their families migrate out of the place to get better jobs and send money back home. This makes men mere onlookers of the problems and the women who are living in those horrible circumstances, close victims. But don’t mistake these women for damsels in distress as they have proved to be strong and resourceful to international organisations like ICRISAT, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.
Women from this village have created self-help groups headed by Rameshwari Devi. She wakes up at 4am each morning and walks the 3km to her nearest water source. She is also working towards improving the government-run village childcare centre.
“The organisation works directly with the women who are left behind in these communities, taking into account their needs and helping them to adopt integrated farming methods, while capitalising on their local knowledge. It has provided fruit trees, offered advice on which crops to sow, helped improve water storage arrangements and helped the women petition the local authorities to lay a water pipeline to their village,” as reported in Al Jazeera.
Now women have started to realise their own worth by getting in touch with these international organisations that come to India for research purposes. Living under inhumane conditions isn’t an easy task and to overcome these situations is heroic in itself.
Picture Credit- Radio Delta