“I want to increase water availability through government schemes and private sponsors.”
Kalpana Kawade from Antroli, South Solapur, a middle-aged woman and a Gram Panchayat member, has many dreams. And she is full of plans to make the lives of her villagers easier, healthier, and happier.
Kalpana has not had much difficulties on both her personal and professional lives. She had a garment shop that was running well. But it is in her nature to help people who are in need. And so, she started to do social work through Self Help Groups. Currently, Kalpana is a Gram Panchayat member and through this medium, she makes sure that she implements multiple welfare schemes.
Kalpana got associated with SSP and got to know about the abundant opportunities to uplift the lives of her villagers. She was impressed with SSP’s climate resilient farming model and organic farming techniques which gives importance to both proper nutrition and solid success in farming. Kalpana came to know that her education and passion for social work benefits others, which inspired her more to dedicate her efforts for public good.
Antroli faced scarcity of water for three years because of severe drought. Villagers tried to survive with underground water but soon, that too gave out. The water tanker that distributed water had only 3-4 buckets for each family, which was barely enough for even basic needs.
What will help is a pipeline from the Bhima Dam 5 km away from Antroli, which will suplly the water necessary for the village. Kalpana’s biggest priority right now is to find out the various government schemes and private sponsors for project. The budget will be high. But she feels that if villagers put enough pressure, the project would be approved. She wants to mobilize the villagers for this cause and keep fighting till the village gets the water pipeline. Kalpana also wants to start a water purifying project so that villagers will get clean drinking water.
Another major problem in Antroli, which is predominantly dependent on agriculture, is regular power cuts, which impedes farming. Kalpana has a solution – solar power. Kalpana wants to set up a solar power plant in the village to provide uninterrupted power supply. She also believes that Antroli can sell surplus electricity to the electricity board, which is another source of income for the village. Uninterrupted power supply also means lit-up streets in the night, which ensures safe travel for all villagers.
Kalpana understands that people in rural areas are prone to superstitions and are set in their ways. They lose a lot of energy and money to self-proclaimed godmen. So, she wants to create awareness among villagers by offering regular lectures to bring down the dependence on godmen and false beliefs. She wants to educate people that proper medical help, and not godmen or babas, will get rid of all physical problems.