After an intensive awareness drive in January 2021, 230 residents of Savartola village filed the demand for work for 100 days. Due to the pandemic situation people could not get work outside and all of them wanted work locally. But they were hesitant to meet Sarpanch to hand over the applications. Women workers decided to take lead.
The next day, 30 women got together and met Sarpanch and Gram Sevak to submit the applications. As they spoke in one voice, Gram Sevak accepted the file. But when women asked for an acknowledgment, he refused to give it. Women knew they are entitled to get it and they were not ready to stop until they get the receipt. On the next day, the same group of women traveled to the block-level office and visited BDO.
Because of their collective assertion, it was hard for the BDO to dismiss their genuine demand. He called Gram Sevak, Rojgar Sevak and Sarpanch to the office and completed the procedure. Within fifteen days, by mid-February the work started in the village and almost 450 people worked to clean and deepen the village reservoir. Another project of levelling of irrigation channels started by March end to accommodate the wage seekers. Women’s collective strength and their awareness of their rights and entitlements made the difference and benefitted all wage seekers.
(By CRP Shalu Kolhe, Morgoan Arjuni block, district Gondiya)