MAITHLY AND CHAINA
Maithly and Chaina were poor farm labourers, owning a small area of land in their village Juna Gaon. Due to the lack of irrigation, they were unable to take crops on their field and so mortgaged their land and migrated to an urban town, where they started doing daily waged manual labour to survive and to pay back their heavy debt from the mortgage of Rs. 20,000. Living hand to mouth, they were only able to purchase their rent each day at a time and any leftover money was used for food. They lived like this for over 10 years, spending 8-10 months away from their home. Their three children missed out on years of school in order to help them earn a living for the family. Last summer Maithly attended a local meeting and was successfully granted a new dug-well. This has completely transformed their lives. Not only are Maithly and Chaina able to grow three crops on this land per year, but they are also cultivating fruit and vegetables to generate further income and keep their family secure. They also happily report that their children are now attending school.
I’m a farmer and we completed our dug well in May 2015. The well has changed our lives – we’ve doubled how much land we can now irrigate, going from 3 acres to 6 acres, and can now diversify our crops and increase our income. As part of the project, we received training from ASA on seed treatment and effective farming; so while before we mainly had monsoon paddy crops, now we are looking at all-season crops including fruits and vegetables such as chana, papaya and guava. I find myself very lucky to have this well – is was my dream which has now come true. I had always dreamt of building a well, but until ASA came to help, I didn’t think it would become a reality. Before the well, I had no option but to depend on the monsoon to do the farming. If we had no water available, we’d have to work on other land. I believe the impact of building a dug well will be always positive. Farmers would all like to have sufficient water for their farms, to cultivate more and to gain profit for themselves – nobody likes to be forced to leave their own farms and work elsewhere. I’m happy I’ll now be able to get more crops with this sufficient use of water and its already helped improve my financial conditions.