THE STORY OF THEH: A community built Oasis
Theh is an unusual Sahariya village where one sees an unexpected air of prosperity. Till a few years back, this village was no different from other villages. But today, it is self sufficient in water
There are two handpumps and 3 tubewells in this village. Of this one handpump is exclusively used by the Pandits while the three tubewells are personal properties of some villagers. However, despite that every body in the village gets water, thanks to initiatives taken by the Sarpanch of this village, Ramesh Jadav.
The Sarpanch entered into an agreement with the owners of the tubewell that every villager shold be allowed access to the tubewells. For water taken for domestic use, he reimburses the owners Rs. 3000 each.
The water from this tubewell is filled in a well near the Sahariya hamlet from where the villagers can fill water. For water used for livestock, the Sarpanch pays Rs. 5000 to the private owner. This agreed amount is provided from the money received for the functioning of the Panchayat from the government.
Theh is a village with an intervention received from WaterAid in collaboration with Sambhav Social Service Organisation, Gwalior. This village today has 100% sanitation coverage which means that each household has a toilet and it is used by the people of that household. There is a 100% acceptance of these toilets. WaterAid and Sambhav provided the villagers with basic idea of toilets and provided them with a certain portion of the investment required. The community invested the rest of the amount either in terms of labour or money. The toilets here are not mere constructions; they are well-built and have privacy in terms of doors that are made of sacks. The toilets built here are of leach-pit type.
The village has adopted very good practices. The village follows the grey water reuse. Each household collects the water used for cleaning clothes and house and uses it for flush in the toilets. Personal hygiene is also very well taken care of. No where in the village would one find any dirt or garbage. There are special provisions for collecting garbage from each household and then dumping them at appropriate places. There are sewerage lines that collect the dirty household water, they are well covered and this reduces the incidence of malaria. At various places there are structures constructed that would ensure groundwater recharge.
Rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharging efforts are continuously on. There is a stop dam constructed to check rainwater from flowing away. There are also tanks constructed for rainwater harvesting. In the school building roof water harvesting structure are constructed.