Monday, March 19, 2012

Rural Living and Learning Experience (RLLE) by two interns from XIMB, Bhubaneswar

When we came to know that we had to work with SaciWATERs under the Rural Living and Learning Experience (RLLE) of Xavier's Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, we felt very happy and at the prospect of working in peri-urban water development that interests us a lot. Not worrying much about our stay and food, we were excited about the kind of work that we were going to do in the field. 

Harvest of agricultural produce in Aliabad
During the one month of the internship, our work was divided into three phases. The first phase involved understanding of the ongoing project, literature review, and preparation of research proposal to study about the water availability and access, irrigation systems and the Shamirpet lake in Aliabad  village, which is 30 km away from Hyderabad. The second phase involved fieldwork where we got an opportunity to understand the concept of a peri-urban area and how a rural area transforms into peri-urban due to developmental activities without considering the damage caused by them to the environment. The third phase involved report writing and consolidating the internship. 

Discussion with the farmers
The main objectives of the research were to understand the current farming practices and irrigation systems in Aliabad, the effects of developmental activities around Aliabad, and to understand farmer’s perception about climate change. Availability and distribution of water in SC colony of the village was also studied along with gender issues affecting access to water sources.
Regarding the study about pattern of water consumption and access in the households we did gender disaggregated survey among the SC colony largely and also in other parts of the village. As this village is located in the peri-urban area lot of ground water pollution has occurred due to extension of roads and establishment of industries. Hence, commercialization of drinking water has started in the area. Currently there are five water purification plants in the village which sells water to the people. People who can afford to buy water for drinking are purchasing water from these water plants. None of the five purification plants are located in the SC colony which is located about a kilometre away from the main village. 

Talking to a water purification plant owner
Water supply in the village is taken care of by the village Gram Panchayat through underground water pipelines laid from over head tanks, separate installed bore wells in many streets so that people can collect water from the common stand points. Previously people used to depend on agriculture but nowadays there is a drastic decrease in the number of people who are practicing agriculture. The reasons are drastic decrease in the rain fall, increased employment opportunities due to nearby industries. As the input costs of agriculture are increased they are more inclined to work with industries as daily labour. Also, water from the Shamirpet Lake has greatly reduced due to real estate development and blockage of channels.The Shamirpet Lake used to have surplus water to supply for the agricultural fields of Aliabad and other villages also. But nowadays due to rampant developmental activities in the area around the lake and due to decrease in the rainfall the water level activities has gone down. It used to supply water for two crops but now days it could not supply water for even one crop properly.

LEARNINGS FROM RLLE: During our stay for one month with the organization and in the village stay we learned many things here we have tried to put on some of them. During the field stay we had stayed in the house of an ex- sarpanch of the village where we learned how to build rapport with villagers and how to manage the things during stay in the village. Socio economic factors play a role in the access of water such as the income level and the caste to which one belongs in the village. Hence we learned how to talk carefully with the people without hurting them and at the same time to collect the relevant information.We could observe that there is still discrimination of people based on their caste which needs to be changed.We learnt how to interact with the women in the self help groups and to know how they are trying to manage the things better in the village. Learned how to conduct focussed group discussions with farmer groups and observed how a rural area gets transformed into a peri- urban area. Previously we used to feel that it would be very difficult to conduct gender dis-aggregated surveys, but now we feel comfortable in this area and there are many things to learn how the man in the family influence the response of women in the house for an question.We learned how the water allocations between the villages will be there without conflicts and how do they resolve if any conflict arises and had an understanding about how urbanization affects the agriculture and water accessibility in the area. 

We thank XIMB and SaciWATERs for providing us with such an opportunity to work with them and simultaneously learn how to work with an organization and to understand the rural dynamics and how several factors plays role in access of water in the village.

Aditya Kurla and Subhash Kumar
PGDM - Rural Management
XIMB, Bhubaneswar

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    Your site is giving very good information about water, It is very useful in our dailylife, Now a days due to lack of sufficient water so many persons are facing many problems. In this circumstances Borewells in Hyderabad is doing some help to dig and get water. Some of the Borewells in Hyderabad.


    Borewells in Hyderabad