TRIP OF Y4D TEAM TO THE VILLAGES LOCATED IN LONAWALA

The volunteers of the Y4D (YOUTH FOR DEVELOPMENT) on the auspicious day of 25th December 2014 i.e. the day of good governance took an initiative to find the need for good governance in our country. In the view of finding out an answer to the question, and where from good governance should start in a country where majority of the problems lie in the remote villages, our team decided to visit 2 villages in Rajmachi area just 15KM from Lonavala. There was no existence of any road just a trail full of pebbles which led to these villages, we had to start early for the day (6:30 am) as from early inspection it was clear that the trip can only be covered during the broad daylight. We started our proceedings with three hired two wheeler and had three local volunteers with us as a guide for the geographical know how.

After a perilous drive of around 2 hours we reached the first village named “Udhewadi(Rajmachi)”. The village looked in good condition with a mix of concrete and mud houses, the villagers have planned for a centralized water reservoir at the foot hills. The main stay of livelihood for the people here is tourism (mountain rafting and outdoor camps) this tourism hunt is only available for nearly 4 months in a year. A dilapidated temple stands near the water reservoir with a structure similar to that existed during the Vedic age, a source of water flowing from the temple is still not known to the villagers. The villagers with the help of a local business man (in Lonavala city) have got hold of a diesel engine to drive water from the foot hills to the tank(build by TATA motors Pune) for the daily needs, however to our notice the water tank is another example of a chronic construction. The fuel cost is beard by the villagers which adds an extra burden to their pocket, hence we take this part as a concern for a permanent solution. The village had a solar panel grid build by the collaborative work of the BEL (BHARAT ELECTRONICS LIMITED) and TATA powers, but due to an electrical fault there exists only the frames for the housing of the solar panels. An existence of a governmental school with inadequate facilities was a self-explanatory example about the future of education in the village. The mountainous terrain do not offer the villagers with extra options of farming hence most of them turn towards the city for a regular and reliable income.

We then started our journey towards the next destination we drove for another 30 minutes to reach the next village named “Vannati(Rajmachi)”. The condition here was far more pitiable we had to leave our two wheelers on the road side as it was not possible to drive them completely to the village. This village was the all that we wanted as an answer to the question why our country needs good governance. The village had only one concrete construction and that was the school. The village houses were made up of thin forest wood and there existed a coating of cow dung to prevent cold winds to enter the houses. We came to know that few houses were blown away during the rain. There was no sign of a peaceful life everyday looked like a struggle for survivability, no sign of electricity, clean drinkable water, cleanliness. A surprise to our notice the modern Indians those find these villages a source of exciting and adventurous location for camping, treat it as a dumping ground of garbage left after the camps. We enquired about the medical officer’s visit and yes there was an officer who visits the village but at an interval of 2 to 3 months. There was no sign of animal husbandry as it was beyond their reach to bear the expenses of the animal’s live stocks. The only source of income for these people was the offerings of services to the camping team. Our visiting team gifted the villagers with few warm clothes. It was to our delight that even after having so many hardship they offered us tea a simple example of “Atithi Devo Bhava” deep in our culture.

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