Change starts from one Person
Change starts from one person
Samjho, wife of Lalchand and resident of Village Ahmed Ali Hingorjo, is 42 years of age and mother of seven children, six of whom live with their parents. Prior to Pak Mission Society’s intervention in her village, a significant portion of her daily routine consisted of travelling to and from the canal water channel far from her village to collect water. Due to the high demand for water from adjoining villages, women had to wait in long queues and limited amount was collected. In addition, the canal water is dirty and water borne diseases were rampant in the village. Despite her lack of education, Samjho understood the linkages and felt deeply concerned.
Pak Mission Society selected the village in 2016; in Khipro WASH project funded by Humedica International and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. In order to facilitate and manage interventions at community level, Pak Mission Society wanted to form a Village Development Committee (VDC). Unfortunately, none of the males in the village were interested in taking up the responsibility of leading the committee. Samjho took the opportunity and offered to lead the committee. Her willingness surprised the male folk in the highly patriarchal community but she was accepted as the President of the committee and she, in turn, motivated other women to become members of the committee.
“This was the opportunity I was looking for; I sensed that there was potential for change but the men either could not see what I was seeing or they were not willing to do the hard work required. I encouraged women to take membership in the committee because their support and efforts were necessary to bring the changes Pak Mission Society was talking about”
With the support and assistance of the village development committee, a hand pump was installed in the village centre and a washing station was also constructed. An operations and maintenance committee was set-up (it was a sub-committee of the main VDC) to properly manage the community assets with Samjho playing an active role in ensuring the functioning of the committee and the sustainability of the hand pump and washing station.
“I did not rely on the males to get any work done. I even went door to door to collect contributions from each household for the operation and maintenance fund’ said Samjho proudly.
Samjho went on to say “Suddenly, there is enough water for everyone for drinking, cooking, washing and even bathing. Women can give proper time to their families. I am indebted to Pak Mission Society for giving me a chance to embrace the challenge of leading the Village Development Committee”.