Akkolli, a remote village with little access to even bus services, is nestled in Wayanad district of Kerala, home to the tribal settlement of Churuli. It is here, on the slopes of a hilly forest, Jincy lives. in a poorly built home made out of dried mud and brick-tiles and covered with plastic sheets for the roof.
Widowed recently, and with three children to take care of, she was struggling for access to drinking water as the sole pipe, bringing water through the forest, needed repairing every other day. With wild animals roaming around, walking at least a kilometer into the dense forest was a risk that she had to take nearly every day, leaving her children home alone.
Upon seeing her plight, the villagers came together to dig a well for her as she has a small aquifer nearby, which her late husband always wished to convert into a well. Around 18 villagers came together and decided to convert the small pit into a bigger space filled with fresh water for Jincy and her children.
With a little motivation from Team Goonj, and mobilized by Goonj's 'Dignity For Work' initiative, they began the work.
The mud water from the small pit was cleared, it was dug deeper, two got into the pit to clear out the muck and mud; the women formed a human chain to take the debris as far away from the waterbody as possible; a few others went to collect rocks to form the pit structure. The entire activity was a vision of coming together… of different people, for a common cause.
The work was not without obstacles though... excess muck and dirt and of course poisonous snakes were a cause of concern. But the villagers, undeterred, kept the work going with determination and enthusiasm.
After a few hours of relentless work, freshwater started gurgling through the pit, which then was lined with rocks to make the structure sturdy. Finally, by evening it was fully ready for Jincy and her family to use. Jincy's happiness knew no bounds, and the villagers in turn said they loved working as a team and decided to take up many more such projects for the community. Moreover, the family kits with essential items and jholas, channelized by Goonj to the participants, became an added reason to rejoice.