Remote Warpod makes the journey to a better living
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 15 May 2017 10:45:08|
By Gajanan Kasawar,
A remote village situated atop a hill, devoid of roads, electricity, water supply, education or even health care even after seven decades of independence. But as if someone stroked a magic wand, it gets transformed within a matter of six months and gives us a lesson that change is feasible when initiative and effort are in place.
This is the story of Warpod in Zari taluka of Yavatmal district. The remote village has a frail population of 130 living in 30 huts and small houses. The village never had any basic amenities and villagers were living in abject conditions. With no clue how to improve their situation, they had learnt to live with their plight. However, all that was to change.
A health camp was held at Zari some six months back and people from Warpod had also availed its benefit. Dr Mahendra Lodha from Wani was among the doctors who had extended services at the camp. Some youths from Warpod happened to meet Dr Lodha and narrate their miserable living conditions. They told how, owing to absence of a road at Warpod, a patient has to be brought upto the Zari road on a cot by four people of the village. They also told Dr Lodha how a pregnant woman faced grave misery while being brought to Zari and later both she and her newborn died.
Dr Lodha was moved by the state of Warpod villagers even after seven decades of India’s Independence. The youths returned to their village with the same empty hopes while Dr Lodha returned home with a heavy heart. And he decided to bring about a change. With the help of Dr Vikas Hedau, Dr Shirish Kummarwar, Ravindra Matte, Nilesh Katariya, Anand Bhandari and others, he set out to make that change happen.
The first gift they gave tribal dominated Warpod was electricity. With the help of Rajabhau Biloriya and co-operation from MSEDCL, this hilly area got electricity for the first time since 70 years of independence. The faces of the people shone brighter on seeing the light bulb glow for the first time in their hamlet, recalls the team.
The next problem was water. There was a deep valley like well at a distance of 1 km from Warpod and families sometimes had to spend as much as half a day to fetch water. But with electricity now available, a pump set was fitted on the well and water brought upto the village.
Next up was a issue of an approach road. With the help of Forest Department and local people, a road wide enough for a car to be able to ply was constructed within five days.
As par as health care was concerned, a local youth was imparted training and a small medicine bank was formed which is looked after by him.
The village did not have any school or anganwadi. Anand Bhandari provided educational material for the children while Dr Vikas Hedau provided a television set for entertainment of the villagers. Nilesh Katariya donated a flour machine.
Meanwhile, looking at the way Dr Lodha and his team was striving to change the face of Warpod, Forest Department also pitched in and distributed 28 LPG cylinders to 30 families under Government scheme. Sarpanch of Warpod Subhash Kudmethe and Block Development Officer of Zari also helped in the endevour.