Restoring Natural Heritage: Working together: Key to success.
We in India may be some times slow in making progress. But not always. Example: what happened in Rahimatpur on 29th April 2012.
The citizens in this small town got together one morning to address the challenge arising out of the ‘development imperatives’. People of Rahimatpur, nearly three decades back, were dependent on water from a rivulet called Kamandalu for drinking as well as for other purposes. Hence the rivulet was maintained well by the people of the town. As part of the town development, in 1970’s the water distribution scheme was implemented in Rahimatpur. The water from major river Krishna flowing few KMs nearby is now pumped, filtered, stored and distributed by pipes to the households. As the tapped water is now available for last 30 years, the Kamandalu rivulet is totally neglected and is used as dumping place for the waste from the town. This has created health hazard, loss of water body, loss of flora and fauna and natural resource for the population of the town.
A century old Kamandalu bridge at the entrance of Rahimatpur exuded a picture of stinking dirt. It was plastic flowing in Kamandalu and not water.
About 700 of us just descended in this ‘plastic’ rivulet and cleaned it in less than 3-4 hours. It was interesting collectivism. IIT Alumni and TERRE Policy Centre did background work of survey, Media through newspaper (Sakal) inspired people through articles, Municipality provided resources and ‘we the people’ just did the job.
Entering Rahimatpur now is changed experience. Rahimatpurkars became a change that they want to see!!
But this is just beginning. The projects to make Rahimatpur Plastic Free and Waste Management have been taken up by TERRE Policy Centre as part of Rahimatpur Role Model.
Those staying out of Rahimatpur may like participating in the next stage of restoration of Kamandalu.