Just back from a trip home (Chhattisgarh). Enjoyed an extended holiday, a large part of which was spent working! But since work was closely tied with a pleasure trip, had a good time. During the trip, I visited a Tirathgarh village in Bastar district which has been awarded the "Nirmal Gram Puraskar"for sanitized villages. Nature has already bestowed the village with remarkable beauty. With total sanitation, the villagers seem interested in maintaining that beauty.
The other Nirmal Gram I visited was in Bilaspur district (Dabena Village). I also visited a town called Manendragarh in Koriya district. A few years back, the President of the Nagar Palika had initiated a programme to repair the drains in the residential areas of the town. The regular open drains were replaced with semi-circular pipes that were covered with RCC slabs. Every fourth slab had a few holes to allow rainwater to flow into it. This initiative, though simple, proved effective in improving the look of the town, widening the road (the slabs were like an extension of the road), preventing solid waste from clogging the drains, preventing breeding of mosquitoes etc.
On the way back to my home in Jagdalpur, we got stuck at a spot close to Raipur. Rainwater had flooded a part of the road (flowing upto a height of 8 feet), making it inaccessible. We had to wait on that spot for hours (10 hours, to be precise) waiting for the water to recede. Since we reached there in the evening and weren't sure how long we had to wait, we started assessing our drinking water supplies. We realized we just had half a litre of water for the four of us. Though we did manage to buy some more water by traveling back a little, the situation reminded me of the quote "Water, water everywhereâ€¦not a drop to drinking.