Nabarangpur: Farmers in Ladi and Girliguda villages under Majhiguda panchayat of Papadahandi block in Nabarangpur district have done the impossible when the administration failed to resolve their problem. They have carved a path through a hill and jungle road to bring the stream water downhill to irrigate their farmlands and become an example for others to emulate. They have shown that nothing is impossible if one has the resilience, perseverance, and determination.
People like them without money or power have been able to cut through the mighty hill to alleviate their sufferings in watering their farmlands. This has brought about a turnaround in their lives. They are now able to earn their livelihood by growing vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, brinjals, peas, tomatoes, and chilli on around 25 acre of farmland. Despite a slump in vegetable business, they are now earning anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 per month from the cultivation. Farmers said, they had repeatedly demanded irrigation for their farmlands, but soil conservation department had failed to alleviate their sufferings.
Left with no option, the members of 10 farming families decided to cut the hill and carve a path to provide irrigation facilities to their farmlands. They spent from their own pockets and toiled to achieve what was once thought to be impossible. They dug up the hill and cleared the jungle road to bring stream water for a stretch of two kilometres to their farmlands. Reports said Ladi and Girliguda villages are located on the downhill side of the Ladi Bhalujhar Gadgada hill. A stream flows out of the crevice of the hill throughout the year.
After their persistent demands, the soil conservation department promised to construct a check dam on the hill and use the stored water to provide irrigation facilities to the farmlands downhill. The project work began but was abruptly terminated halfway through. The farmlands downhill, on the other hand, used to remain uncultivated due to a lack of irrigation facilities.
The farmers informed the agriculture and irrigation officials about their plight and urged them to do the needful. The concerned officials informed them that borewells could be dug to solve their problem, but that they would have to deposit Rs 20,000 with the irrigation department for each borewell. The farmers were left distraught as they could not afford so much money for the borewells owing to their poor financial condition. The farmers united after resolving to bring the stream water from the hilltop to the valley. They cut the hill, connected a plastic pipe to the stream, and dug a channel all the way downhill for two kilometre to bring the water to their farmland. A farmer named Prakash said they spent around Rs 50,000 to build a cement drain and connected pipes at various points to ensure a smooth flow of water down the hill.
Farmers like Tularam Harijan, Ishwar Chandra Takri, Kamal Lochan Goud, Daya Jani, Shantikumar Harijan, Bhadar Jani, Samaru Goud and Bhuban Goud of Girliguda village, as well as Ajay Takri and Siddhi Prakash Garada of Ladi village, benefited greatly after the water reached their farmlands downhill. After reaping success, they now plan to undertake cultivation of other crops even during the summer season.