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|
|Discussion with the farmers|
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|
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