Nirbade Khindwadi – Marching towards development:
Community Background prior to Dishantar’s intervention:
We have initiated our social contribution from hamlets of Katkari community, supporting them in strive for economic and social development. We have witnessed their journey from 2001, when they were living in acute poverty. There was no electricity, no concrete houses. They used to live in thatched houses. All the community members (male & female) were alcoholic. Most of them started their morning with a bottle of liquor. In the evening, it was very tragic scene in their hamlet. You could see typical scenes i.e. men beating or abusing their wives or children, quarrels amongst men or women and so on. It was difficult to step in their hamlet after 7.00 pm.. Their primary livelihood activity was farm and non-farm labour especially for woodcutting in forests. At that time, they never got full wages. Their daily wage was around Rs. 100/-, but they used to get Rs. 25/- to Rs. 50/- and for rest amount they would be given liquor (alcohol). Deliberate efforts were made by the superior class people to keep them alcoholic as it was easy to cheat them or get much work done by them, paying meager amounts.
Dishantar’s Efforts for Community Betterment:
On this background we have initiated our work in Dalvatne, Nirbade, Moravne, Akle, Kadvad, Kutre and so on where this community was inhabited. The interventions were small. We used to provide them warm support through health camps, distribution of clothes, utensils, blankets, sweets & fruits for children, seeds for their backyard gardens, etc.. In some hamlets, we got their children admitted in schools, tried to make available their caste certificates from Revenue Dept. & follow up the hamlet development issues. Based on their expectations and needs, we have tried to support them. This helping hand was not just to support them but to make them aware about their inner strength and their rights as citizens.
Today, after 14 prolonged years, we can see some noteworthy changes in their hamlets. E.g. Nirbade Katkari hamlet has turned out to be an ideal Katkari Hamlet today. Not only materialistic but we can see the change in behavior pattern of the community. Almost 95% hamlet is non-alcoholic. All the children above 3.5 years go to Z.P. schools. 3 youngsters are taking higher education in colleges; one of them is studying software engineering degree. 94% households have concrete houses through Indira Awas Yojana. 7 houses are in the process of construction under schemes for Adivasi Community. Dishantar is trying to make them technology friendly by providing low cost zero maintenance and membrane technology based water purifier and solar lanterns.
Dishantar has supported the Nirbade Khindwadi’s efforts for getting mainstreamed. Before 14 years, this hamlet was living in medieval ages and today they are taking privileges of hi-tech development tools e.g. water purifiers, solar lights, POS banking service and so on.