Thursday, August 18, 2011

Well done Abba

Well Done Abba 2010 political satire Hindi film directed by Shyam Benegal, has a couple of storylines. One of them about, how a well that is to be built in a village, gets stolen.
Its not just a story or a film, it is reality.

Dad told me a story the other day. I dont know the entire pre and post circumstances and all the exact details. Heres what happened in short.
One of the NGOs decided to do something for a village close to our home town. So they decided that since sanitary conditions in most villages are below par, they should build some auto flushing toilets or something. So they got some experts together including Dad to go to the village for specs and numbers.
And guess what happened. They found that there was no drinking water supply in the village? On paper, there were supposed to be 9 Bore wells in the village and hence a decent water supply and distribution. The bore well money either from the the government or the World Bank, on paper, was used to make the bore wells.
But no bore wells! Hello Corruption! All of it went to god knows who. The officials, higher ups, panchayat (local village self governmental)?

The villagers used water from one dirty lake, shared by all animals and people to do all sorts of things.. Walk to the lake, boil and filter the water through a cloth and drink. What would they do with A self flushing toilet!

Ironical isnt it. Luckily Dad informed me that they challenged the authorities, and while the case would go on, they also got some hand pumps installed. Some part solution for this village... but what about all the millions of small villages all across the country? And we wonder why the farmers commit suicide.

This story is not to make you cynical of the country, people and corruption. The story is about small changes, and not giving up. Though it is difficult for one person to deal with the big problem, a set of people working tirelessly towards a cause do make a change however small. The cases and investigations might take forever, the laws against similar issues might also take time to be passed and then later implemented, but there can be short term solutions. We just have to get together and find them. Help thy neighbor and help each other.

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