Women of Podapathar village in Sundargarh district in Odisha have become an inspiration for millions of women in the country now, thanks to their determination to improve the drinking water situation in their village.
Earlier the women had to fetch water for domestic use at 4 am. The nearest drinking water source was 1 km away. "In 2002, the panchayat installed two hand pumps at Podapathar but the water from the hand pump was not fit for drinking," says Dutiya Kisan, a woman in her 50s.
In the last 15 years, the government installed three hand pumps in the village but the water, with a foul smell, was not fit for drinking. The villagers were desperate to improve the situation but didn't know how to go about it. In 2016, help came in the form of Atmashakti Trust, an NGO working on community development issues in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh who helped the women of Podapathar to constitute Mahila Sangram Samiti, a people’s organisation for solving their community problems.
Since drinking water was the primary problem in the village, the women got together under the banner of Mahila Sangram Samiti and forced the government to implement the drinking water scheme properly.
This video tells the success story of women of Podapathar.