Women-led Water Management: Trendsetters in Marora Village

In the district of Mewat, Haryana, India, water scarcity is a well-recognized problem by the government and organizations working in the area. Women and men derive different benefits from the availability, management, and use of water. Women are usually responsible for carrying water long distances to their homes, but are usually left out of the community water management decision-making process. In the village of Marora, women recently formed a women-led water committee. This committee has lifted the community’s spirits and attitude toward water development.

In September 2011, the Sehgal Foundation began working in Marora village. At the time, the village lacked drinking water and wastewater flowed onto the streets due to water logging. Sehgal Foundation created meetings with the community in Marora in order to form a women’s group that would take charge of the village’s water resources. Eleven women came together to construct soak pits along the village streets. Soak pits would improve wastewater disposal and ensure clean surroundings. The women began constructing soak pits from their own households.

The group then started looking for solutions to drinking water problems in the village. A report in Dainik Bhaskar, dated June 15, 2012, explained that the women’s group had confronted the Deputy Commissioner (DC) about the water problems in Marora village. “We felt elated to be able to voice our concerns in front of the DC,” said Pushpa, President of the group and Makina, the group’s secretary.

The district responded to their complaints. Soon after the meeting with the DC, the departments initiated makeshift solutions guaranteeing temporary relief to the villagers, but the group wasn’t satisfied. They continued to push for long lasting solutions.

The members of the group: Islami, Raseedan, Ameena, Omvati, Bhauti, Kashmiri, Mehfoozan and Noorjahan are proud of their accomplishments. All of them have acquired respect from their families for their good work. It is the grit and determination of these women that gives them strength. They do not leave any stone unturned as they search for permanent water solutions.

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