LSS staff had a series of meetings with men and women of the village to understand what initiatives from their side or
Gram Panchayt or weekly market (haat) management was taken to repair the tube well. It was learnt that the village
people had once lodged the complaint with the Sarpanch and despite Sarpanch’s repeated efforts to get the PHED
mechanic for having the tube well repaired, it did not yield any result. Besides the tube well being dysfunctional, the
soak pit and drain system surrounding the tube well was also absent. The LSS staff organised meeting with Mitanin
committee (ASHA worker and the village health committee), especially focusing the issue of dysfunctional tube well
and sanitation. It was learnt that the committee was not aware of its responsibilities. Even the members were not
serious in attending the meeting. In the first meeting there were only four members and in third meeting the strength
went up to 14, which encouraged the LSS staff as well as the Mitanin members. The issue of defunct tube well
brought the committee member together to initiate some action.
Sukhdev Yadav, a member of the committee expressed his frustration on how they requested the Sarpanch for getting the tube well repaired, which did not yield any result and ultimately they had given up. The LSS staff motivated the community at Shantinagar as well as Haditola to organise a public hearing – an interface between the elected PRI members and the community to ponder over various issues being faced by different villages. The first hearing was organised in Haditola village, where people from Shantinagar also participated and raised their issues. The villagers participated in this public hearing and raised issues they were grappling with. A memorandum to this effect was prepared for the President of Block level Sarpanch Association.
So far no written complaint/memorandum was given to Sarpanch about the defunct tube well. Consequent upon the public hearing a memorandum was prepared, signed by all the households, and submitted collectively to the Sarpanch. The memorandum was drafted by the LSS staff. The Sarpanch became bit serious to receive a written complaint and assured to do the needful. Having seen no effect of the memorandum to the Sarpanch after a week, people decided to write another memorandum to the officer in charge of Public Health Engineering (PHE) department and submit by hand collectively. The PHE office was 25 km away and people collected contribution from every household to hire a vehicle so that they could go together and submit the memorandum. They met the SDO of PHE department at Ambagarh Chowki, submitted the memorandum and asked for an early solution, else they would approach the District Collector. The SDO assured them to take care of the issue at the earliest. The very next day a mechanic was deputed to assess the damage in the tube well and within two days the tube well was repaired with required spare parts. Going in a group to meet the SDO worked as an immediate pressure on him to act. The tube well was restored to its normal condition and people started getting drinking water. The news spread to other villages where Shantinagar, a small village, became a role model.