The tribal village, consisting of Kondh community, nestles on the foothills of Deomali range

Sharing material and human resource among each other for managing a collective and harmonious community life has been the way by which the villagers of Bondaguda in Semiliguda block of Koraput district enjoyed their work for generations.

However it has touched a new high for women like Narang Pujari and Kalpana Khora. While Narang completed her high school long back, Kalpana was trying to complete her education up to degree level winning over various challenges of family including the financial ones which was common with other families in the village.

The tribal village with people from Kondh community on the foothills of a mountain in the Deomali range of mountains had to be satisfied with very little cultivable land near the village. All the available land was owned by a couple of villagers. But the sharing attitude by the villagers had transformed such a great challenge into an opportunity to live together. The owners allowed other families to live from the land as and when required, in rotation, facilitating everyone to carry forward the traditional way of living. Rest of the time they continued to work in nearby villages and towns making a life for themselves.

Hygiene hit

The village was one of the many in the neighbourhood which had suffered from diarrohea and other sanitation-related diseases for many years. But with an education and exposure to the proper way of living, Narang emerged as the leading factor to bring the change for the better. Pigs were taken out of the village totally. A cement concrete road was constructed in the middle of the village for rainwater from mountains to cross the narrow village without causing any serious damage. Further, the villagers had accepted the offer by DWSM to construct toilets near each one’s house even though it was granted only for the 30 BPL families in the village. The total amount was placed before the village and it was decided that the amount was meant for the entire village and should be shared for facilitating making toilets in the other 15 APL families as well so as to achieve cent per cent open defecation free status, Narang said.

Acute shortage

There was acute shortage of space and water for toilets in the village.

With the support of DWSM and Unicef the village faced the challenge by carving out space from the existing buildings near their kitchen and bedroom while devising systems of collecting roof water into the drums, storing it for the use in toilets. While every family was using toilets without fail, there were families in the village which had upgraded their toilets to have additional bathrooms in the house.

There was not a single case over the last few years where people had suffered from diarrohea, cholera or typhoid in the village, Kalpana said.

  • The tribal village consisting of Kondh community nestles on the foothills of Deomali range

  • All the available land was owned by a couple of villagers