The Gram panchayat Nimachalkhurd falls under Tiwarni Block of Harda district, Madhya Pradesh and is located 35 km away from the district headquarters. The GP has attempted notable participatory initiatives, a few of which are highlighted below.
A few years back, this village faced the problem of stagnating water at various points in the village leading to breeding of mosquitoes and diseases. According to the provisions of the Gram Panchayat, the solution to this problem also lay in the hands of the various members of the Gram Panchayat and the Gram Sabha.
The Nimachalkhurd Gram Panchayat believed in the democratic way of decision making and hence, a meeting of the Gram Sabha was called in the year 2011 where opinion of the villagers was sought regarding selection and finalisation of an apt social welfare scheme. The local villagers asserted that the construction of an underground drainage system should be of the highest priority. Since the Gram Panchayat’s financial capacity did not allow them to undertake the project, the Gram Sabha came up with the proposition that they were ready to contribute 50% in the project and the remaining 50% will be provided by the Gram Panchayat. After much deliberation, an estimated total cost of Rs 2.4 lakh was arrived for the project and it was approved by the Gram Panchayat. Work was started under the supervision of the Gram Panchayat. The various ward members helped in supervising the project in their wards and in this way, without including any sub-contractor the project was completed.
After the completion of the project, the villagers felt a sense of pride and solidarity as work was accomplished by the Gram Panchayat. Through a system of communal partnership, an underground drainage system with 4 inch broad PVC pipeline was created in the entire village. Below the roads, chambers were created where the pipelines merged and the wastewater would be collected. Now, the villagers are more aware and feel that they have a responsibility and duty towards their village. Along with the elimination of the problem of water collection, there has also been an improvement in the state of drinking water and a decline in the mosquitoes and related disease incidence in the village.
For the mobilisation of funds and resources, the Gram Panchayat decided to collect taxes from the villagers and hence called a meeting of the Gram Sabha for a discussion on matter where after hearing the side of the Gram Panchayat and the work they had done over the time, the villagers agreed to pay their due taxes regularly. Awareness on payment of taxes for the improvement of the village was generated among the villagers by the Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat.
The Gram Panchayat collected the taxes in a proper manner as per the procedures underlined by the Department of Panchayati Raj. Nimachalkhurd Gram Panchayat achieved their target of 100% house tax collection for the year 2012-13 and the entire collection of Rs. 46,196/- was properly entered into the Demand, Collection and Balance (DCB) Register. Audit of the records of the Gram Panchayat was taken up and the records were found to be satisfactory.
The Gram Panchayat decided that the next step towards a more hygienic and healthy environment should be the elimination of open defecation in the village. In the year 2008-09, the Gram Panchayat started the ‘Total Sanitation Programme’. Some of the initial challenges that the Gram Panchayat faced were that people were not habituated to use the toilet and hence went out in the open for defecation. The Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat along with ASHA members, Anganwadi helpers and Self Help Groups went door to door to spread awareness about the usage of toilets and convinced people to start using toilets and stop defecating in the open as it was unhealthy and many a times, there was a risk of various diseases being spread by defecating in the open.
All the households were then motivated to construct toilets for which they were also given a sum of Rs 4,600/- each by the Gram Panchayat. From the aid of Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan, public toilets at various places were constructed. In schools and anganwadi centers, awareness programmes about proper sanitation were given. Children in schools were encouraged to wash their hands before taking their mid-day meals. Through a system of community partnership and combined solidarity of the Gram Panchayat along with the Gram Sabha, a welcome change was brought in the lives of the people of Nimachalkhurd Gram Panchayat who now live by the philosophy of healthy living along with cleanliness in their village.
Source: Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana