Shramdaan: Working Towards Change

Villagers come together to solve their water problem.

Last year, the residents of Aundhewadi, Maharashtra, decided to put an end to their water woes. The village had been suffering from acute water shortages for a long time, and both private and government water schemes had failed to give the villagers access.

Yuva Mitra, a local NGO, mobilized the villagers after which the people decided to quit relying on outsiders and find a practical solution to their problem. For two long months, men, women and children of the 200 households of Aundhewadi donated their time and labour towards building a pipeline across the hills.

“When I visited Aundhewadi,” says Community Correspondent Anand Pagare, “I was tremendously impressed by the will power of its people. They instilled hope in me, and I am positive they will do the same for everyone who watches this video.”

Anand tells us that the water supply in the district of Nashik is terribly organized. While people in the city have constant access to water at all times of the day, villagers can’t even afford to have a daily bath. The situation only worsens in the summer, with a number of villages not having enough access to drinking water.

“All the villagers came together and dug up the ground for the pipeline. Even for the transportation of raw materials, everyone lent a hand.”

Gandhian philosophy believes that ‘Work is Worship’ and Shramdaan (volunteering of labour) is essential for wholesome development. Anand tells us that in his village of Malegaon, the government has set up a number of projects. Many of these have failed, but nobody dares to speak up against them or solve their issues themselves. “The villagers of Aundhewadi have set a great example for us. They have proved that we don’t need to rely on others, not even the government. As long as we work together, we can fix anything.”

-Rajyashri Goody

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