27 July, 2021

King Midas Was Here

Microplanning has transformed these villages. Involved in the process at every stage, people have learnt that only self-help can redeem their lot.

Atul Loke
King Midas Was Here
Lendiguda is our destination, a village of 400 people in the tribal belt on the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border. We drive 135 km from the district headquarters at Chandrapur to this remote hamlet in Jivdi taluka that administrative officials can't recall immediately. The last 12 km gets even more challenging as the "pucca" road ends and we bump over miles of stone and mud. It can get worse if you are a local from any of the seven villages in this cluster, because then you'd be walking this treeless distance to reach the nearest bus stop or health sub-centre.

It's a familiar story of the poorest of the poor—people who in the past have been without water for weeks after their well dried up in summer. Anganwadi workers and primary teachers hardly showed up; a routine fever could've meant death. If this seems like the land even God forgot, the eager smiling faces are nothing short of a miracle. Today, five years after microplanning was introduced, Lendiguda could well be a model village for the power of self-help.

Microplanning is a process introduced progressively in...

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