Itanagar (Arunchal Pradesh), Nov 5 : On the bank of a small stream, amidst the lush green paddy fields, lies the serene and a bit obscure Mimey village.
Situated about 40 km away from the district headquarter under Chowkham block, Namsai district in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, Mimey village is abode of some 42 households. The villagers are peace loving and followers of Buddhism. Agriculture is their main occupation, although a few of them are in government services and other businesses. The people are happy and enjoy life as it comes. However, scarcity of safe drinking water been a major problem over years for the people here.
The lady of the house has to fetch water from a small stream that follows through the village at some 300 meters from her house. She needs clean water for drinking and cooking, bathing and washing clothes. A hand pump is there in the back yard, but the water is contaminated with iron. It smells foul and clothes get a red dirty tan. So it is used only for outdoor cleaning, toilet flushing and the likes. Sometimes when the lady can not go to fetch water from streams, her daughter helps her get water. During the monsoon, the stream overflows and water gets muddy as turbidity increases. It is when the villagers have to depend on a shallow dug well for their drinking water need. Due to illness kids can not appear the half yearly school examination. The doctor said it was the contaminated water that made them sick. This is the story of every household in Mimey village. They are dependent on the polluted water of the stream and hand pumps. The women folks find it hard to maintain their daily water needs.
The flagship program, Jal Jeevan Mission was introduced to the villagers in a gram sabha meeting. The officers of the Public Health Engineering and Water Supply Department, Arunachal Pradesh appraised them of the program. The idea of Har Ghar Jal brought tears of happiness in their eyes. It’s like a dream comes true. The concept of community participation went very well with the villagers. They are more than happy to be a part of the mission. A way forward towards implementing the aim of JJM, Gram Sabha was held and the Village Action Plan (VAP) was discussed.
The solar power based water treatment plant from deep bore well with the HDPE pipe network right up to every household was approved by the Gram Sabha. The villagers also prepared the pipe network map with the help from the department. A Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC) was also formed. The roles, responsibilities and duties of the VWSC were briefed as well. The committee members were drawn from all sections of the village, including gaon burha (village elders), Anganwadi & ASHA workers and school teachers. The VWSC has 50% of women member, which is a key aspect for success of JJM.
The scheme for providing water supply to Mimey village has been approved by the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) and proposed to be completed by March 2021. The villagers have started mobilizing their contribution of 5% share in the form of labour. In the coming days, more awareness meetings and IEC activities with special focus on capacity buildings and empowerment are scheduled by involving the Implementation Support Agency regarding various aspects like water quality, water testing with Field Testing Kit (FTK), source sustainability, etc. so as to provide tap water connection to every house of the village. With such an active participation from the local community it is only a matter of months that the people of Mimey shall boast of an established water supply system under Jal Jeevan Mission with “Har Ghar Jal”.
The flagship programme of Union Government, Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation in partnership with States with the objective to provide tap water connections to every rural home of the country by 2024. The Mission aims to enable every rural household assured availability of potable water at a service level of 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) on regular and long-term basis so as to bring improvements in lives of people living in rural areas.( PIB)