As water crisis gripped a village in Chhattisgarh for years leading to deaths of cattle and shortage of water for agriculture, a 42-year-old man has single-handedly been digging and enlarging a pond to save his village. It took 27 years for Shyam Lal to complete his task. Initially, when he started digging the villagers felt it was illogical and laughed at him, as per Hindustan Times report. Shyam Lal belongs to Saja Pahad village in Koriya district of Chhattisgarh.
“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” Shyam Lal was quoted as saying by HT. He said that it was done for the welfare of the people and the cattle. Now, the villages hail him as a hero and saviour. A man in the village, who witnessed Lal’s lone struggle, said the villagers are thankful to him. “Every body in the village now uses water from the pond,” he said.
As per the report, the village Saja Pahad is still in dark with no electricity or proper road connectivity. The villagers have to fetch water only from the few wells available in the area. Local MLA Shyam Bihari Jaiswal has also visited the village and rewarded Shyam with Rs 10,000 for his commendable work. District collector of Koriya, Narendra Duggal has also promised his support to Lal. “I came to know about Shyam recently. His effort for his village is commendable and I will go to his village to provide him all possible help,” he told HT. The state of Chhattisgarh has been reeling under drought year after year. Last year, Chhattisgarh government has provided drinking water and foodgrains to each village besides giving over Rs 1,160 crore to more than 16 lakh farmers as part of drought mitigation efforts, as per PTI.