Because of the conservation project at Bitkuli village in Chattisgarh, India, the village has turned into a model village. The village has a total population of approximately 250 people and scarcity was the daily companion to these people. Most of the people do farming to secure their lives, however, before the conservation project, there were few who could earn good profit.
Ashok Bhaskar’s family has been growing paddy here for so long, but in the last 4 years, they have managed to get financial benefit from farming. In 2008, an NGO, Shikhar Yuva Manch (SYM), started a water conservation project with Bhaskar and other villagers in Bitkuli and this project has changed their fate.
The earlier farmers here in Bitkuli were struggling so much to produce crop in only season because there was not abundant water. There is 255 acres of cultivate land, but they could grow just one crop in 130 acres due to the scarcity of the water. However, there is now water even in April; which is the result of the water conservation project.
There was once a time when people would go outside the village in searching other works, but those days are gone. Now people are doing farming as there is water throughout the entire year.
Earlier, the sole source of the irrigation was the Dharmasagar pond and no canal was built to supply sufficient water and even the water depth was not good. The villagers said we could somehow manage to bring the water from that pond, but sadly we could only irrigate few acres.
In 2008, SYM, decided to help the poor villagers of bitkuli. The reason why they select this village was because the villagers were poor, lacked resources and knowledge. The project has become successful and brought smiles on the face of the farmers.