Goonj aims to build an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance and dignity between the cities and villages using the under-utilized urban material as a tool to trigger development with dignity, across the country.
Karamba, a remote village in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, houses just 19 families, and to reach the village, one has to cross 3 km of dense forest and a not-so-timid rivulet. During monsoons, the settlement gets completely cut off as the water level of the rivulet, Jhari.
It rises to life-threatening levels, and the absence of a pucca road adds more to the locals' woes. Even under normal circumstances, they have to go all the way to the nearby revenue village, Amnari, even for the basic medical needs. But when the rivulet is in spate going anywhere becomes impossible, however serious the health situation may be. Things are especially difficult for pregnant women, who have to be carried on palanquins for 4 km through the jungle, crossing the rivulet to reach the nearest health centre. In the past, many expecting mothers had to suffer due to their inability to get timely medical attention.
"I lost my child during delivery since I was unable to reach the hospital on time…simply because there are no roads. My mother had told me then that from now on, no one from other villages would marry their daughters in Karamba," said Sabitri Devi.
Even the migrant workers, who had returned home due to the Covid-induced lockdown, were stuck in the village post-monsoon and somehow survived by selling firewood in the neighbouring areas.
When Team Goonj, together with its partner organization, visited the village and suggested that the villagers build a wooden bridge over the rivulet, all the families immediately agreed to work on it under Goonj's 'Dignity For Work' (DFW) initiative. They said that building the bridge would not only enable them to access the basic amenities, such as health centers and markets, but also the DFW kits they would receive from Goonj as a reward would also be immensely useful. But most importantly, a villager added, "Mothers won't lose their lives while giving birth."
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