After quite some time, I got another opportunity to visit a nearby village. This visit was quite different from most of my previous visits. I went after the Village Headman invited me to visit the village and advise them on how to develop the place. This village, Patna in Manika block of Latehar block was a village where the Project on Community Based Rehabilitation for the Disabled was working.
The Village Headman was disabled himself. It was quite a sad story on how he got a bad limp. He slipped and fell from a bund when he was studying in the third standard. From his description, it looked as if he had a posterior dislocation of the hip which was never managed properly.
A meeting was arranged where the villagers could discuss issues with me. However, there was a small hitch. Most of the villagers thought that I would be late like most of the other guys who get invited to the village.
So, I had time to walk around and see the village. Below are few of the snaps from the walk . . .
|The violet colored plants are wild tulsi.|
|The water body on one end of the village|
|Recently, there was a government program promoting organic farming using compost. These are compost pits made using government grants. Unfortunately, nobody was sure about how to make the compost.|
|The dried looking fields. The farmers were trying to plant wheat|
|The lunch we got in the village. Rice with pigeon pea curry (dhal). Side dishes included mashed pigeon pea leaves made in two different ways.|
My jottings after the visit to Patna village –
1. The segregation on the basis of caste within the small village of about 180 families affected the progress of the village.
2. Similar to most of the villages in our region, they had abandoned traditional cropping which included millets. That had spelt doom for them. Members from about 80 families had already migrated to other places in search of work.
3. There were 4 graduates in the villages. They were running pillar to post in search of a job. None of them was even exploring the option of self-employment/enterpreneuing.
4. There was a medium sized lake on one side of the village. The villagers were not able to use it for commercial gains.
5. The villagers had heard about the intervention we were doing in the neighbouring villages of Ghutwa and Ekta under the Climate Change Project. They wanted us to help them out too. There are challenges. Patna village is in Latehar district whereas the Climate Change Project is being implemented in 30 villages of the Satbarwa block, which is in Palamu district. Considering the enthusiasm the village had to see change, I would have to oblige them.