With Water Comes Dignity

28 May 2012, Posted by admin in Packages,Two Bank, No Comments. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

With Water Comes Dignity

University of Cincinnati honor students recently discovered first-hand the empowering nature that easy access to water has on a woman’s life in rural India.

They traveled to three villages in western India to document the work being done by Navinchandra Mafatlal Sadguru Water and Development Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) helping tribal people break away from poverty by making better use of resources, technology and management practices.

Their work is featured in the video below.

Sadguru’s programs include the development of reliable irrigation and drinking-water systems – systems taken for granted in established countries.

For nearly 40 years Sadguru has gathered anecdotal evidence of their impact on the rural regions of western India, in the Dahod district in the state of Gujarat, just outside of Dahod city in a small region called Chosala.

Sadguru’s close relationship with the Gujarati people has given them a general understanding of how their work has affected individuals, families and communities. However, Sadguru mostly has tracked output: how many dams have been built, water systems have been installed, or self-help groups started. They generally start by improving the infrastructure through the building of small check-dams, pumps and basic irrigation systems. The people in the villages are trained to maintain the tools in concert with new agricultural techniques, so they’re harvesting diverse crops over several seasons instead of one crop during, at best, one season. This gives the people access to a larger supply of food to eat and sell, as well as diversity in their diet.

In addition to watershed development, Sadguru has programs for dairy (hand-milked buffalo usually), horticulture, floriculture, self-help groups, community-based organizations and micro-lending.

Sadguru has a multi-building compound set up to educate doctors, business people, entrepreneurs and students. It also has training areas for the villagers.

To document the work of Sadguru, the students traveled to the villages of Chilakota, Kamboi and Sahada. Students Carlo Cruz, George Hakim and Eamon Queeney documented women throughout the village. Sean Hughes, an assistant professor in UC’s journalism program, and student Mary Lodwick covered the various sites and sounds of the villages, working primarily outside of the interview areas and beyond – capturing landscapes, kids in schools, people cooking, working and playing, and anything else that was needed for the comprehensive piece.

– Filmed and produced by Carlo Cruz, George Hakim, Sean Hughes, Mary Lodwick and Eamon Queeney

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