THE NEW OLD WORLD OF INDIA: MELGHAT; District: AMRAVATI; Region: VIDARBHA; State: MAHARASTRA; INDIA - PART III
Chandrakant Jagdale of Melghat Maitri was a great company (with tons of information and stories to share) and so was the inquisitive MSW student Shrikant from Satara... the moment I waited for, the most during my stay at Chilati, was the time to go for sleep on the lovely ranch like wild amazing bed made of pure teakwood logs... unpolished and seasoned purely in jungle... Oh... I simply cannot tell you how beautiful and amazing was the sense to see the vast sky with infinite stars twinkling, dark clouds and bright moon playing hide & seek amidst the cool breeze and the silence of the jungle.... filled with sounds of frogs requesting the rain god and the sound of cricket!!!
The lovely bed under the sky
I would love to go back soon to Chilati to spend few more days to interact and explore all the 15 villages in the remote areas and study the problems of the Korku tribe... God willing, that will happen soon. The next day, Chandu took me to Rui Pathar village, which is considered to be a model village... Melghat Maitri had done some of the most amazing works in this village along with an amazing old American man named Harvey Toub... we interacted with couple of villagers and I came to know not long ago, women had to walk down the steep ghats to fetch drinking water from the only well... the treacherous terrain and the slippery way down really made me wonder how on the earth the women and the children (girls) used to carry water from the well up to their respective house all these years... every single day even when it rains heavily...
The Solar Unit @ Rui Pathar Village - Chandrakant standing with a villager
Chandrakant informed me that when they saw the ordeal, they decided to do something and with the help of the American, who visited then in 2008, first laid the foundation for Solar energy to light up the village... now the question came how this energy should benefit the villagers to save them from the daily ordeal. The 70 year-old American Harvey Toub raised the required funds for the whole project with technical assistance to establish Solar Energy unit to generate enough power so that water can be pumped from down to a water tank, from where villagers can collect drinking water with ease. Chandrakant informed that the willing support of the villagers and the vision of Harvey Toub (he left for heaven only recently) saw the unexpected being achieved. Instead of lighting up the whole houses of the village, the Solar Energy was used in an effective manner to solve the major problem and the streets were lighted to great happiness and benefit of the villagers of Rui Pathar.
I am really glad and grateful that through Ajay Saklani I met such wonderful people in Chandrakant, Madhu and Ram of Melghat Maitri during the journey of destiny... who have been doing exemplary work without really worrying about being written about their good work in the media. My goal, along with helping the poor villagers, is to highlight such inspiring stories to reach out to the world. Untold stories of inspiring people who have devoted their lives to see few more smiles on the faces of the poor are rare to be read in today’s media... but then, few good devoted people really don’t care about being written because they believe in doing things with their heart intact at the right place.
God bless the noble soul of Harvey Toub and also good work by Melghat Maitri... I sincerely salute you all from the bottom of my heart!
I was a journalist-writer-poet-blogger based in Bombay. From 18th March 2010, I have devoted my life to support suicide farmers' families in Vidarbha to make them self-reliant and live a decent life.
As a journalist I have had the goodwill to contribute articles on various topics & subjects in more than 60 esteem National & International Publications.