These villages have a unique ecosystem. The amount of hardships that they face to make sure they have a cooked meal in their house every night is astonishing. But I have shared this sort of experience last time.This time round, I will focus on the other side of this system. Our NGO, Dhas Gramin Vikas Kendra, that is working so that they can bring a change in the lives of these struggling citizens of our wonderful nation.During our village trips, we had to make a journey on motorbike à busàsmall rowboatàbig motorboatàwalking the final phase to reach the village. One day, when we reached Akdia village on the banks of the River Narmada by motorbike, we came to know that the motor boat which was to take us to Bada Amba village had been seized by some people since the boat owner had failed to pay them back. Sounds exciting, but that’s not what the story is about. The story actually begins from here. Considering where we were, we still had two boats to interchange and then walk about 5 Kms to reach the people we had committed to meet in Bada Amba. To fulfill that commitment, we needed a small rowboat to get us to another bigger motorboat. To get there, we have to find a boat. But how???
These are areas without any cell phone network. To arrange for another boat actually meant travelling another five kms on our self propelled two leggers to another village, Chilakda, where we MIGHT get a boat. Most of us would have called it a day. But not the activists of DGVK. They had committed to the villagers that we would be there for the meeting. And a journey back would have meant a failure on that commitment. The hallmark of a true leader is someone who doesn’t compromise on his commitment. We took the risk and the fortunes did favour the brave! We found a rowboat, reached midway in the river, changed to a motorboat and finished the journey! All this happened just because we took the risk of going to the next village and not giving up.
At Bada Amba, the activists and I interacted with the women and told them to become aware of their rights and fight for them. The way the activists interacted with them and enthused the women to chalk out a programme of action was one of the most inspiring moments in this week. A fitting example that true leaders are born out of situations. That there are many books outside the books. The invaluable books of experience which we ourselves write, we ourselves understand.