Uravu- A small step but big change

One of the prize winning entries of Kadam Chhota change Bada @womensweb

Sometimes in life a small step can make a big change. We might not necessarily envisage the ripple it might cause while doing it, but when it eventually creates an impact ….you feel good. It’s actually a beautiful and satisfying feeling. In the end such feelings are all that really matters in life.

I was working as an Assistant professor in an Engineering college in Kerala. One day a bunch of my students clustered around, while few of us staffs were chatting in canteen. We discussed about many things including assignments and movies. Then the topic of environmental Day which was soon approaching popped up.

“What should we do for Environment day?” I casually asked.

There was no much enthusiasm initially. Few ideas came up from here and there but nothing was appealing .Finally we all left for class. It was the beginning of rains and the muddy water glided past me drenching my sari. I dodged the small pools of water and moved to staff room.  That’s when it struck, why not built a rain water harvesting pit for the department. A rain pit to collect runoff water which will enrich water table and there by boost bore well water levels. Scarcity of water especially during summer was a major issue in college. We discussed it in class and few of my enthusiastic students eagerly hooked on to the idea. The budget was estimated and as class teachers two of us decided to meet the expense. Once the idea got approved the actions had a momentum.

First we surveyed, found a suitable position at slop for pit where maximum water could reach and was at desired distance from well. While few dug the pit, others fetched the aggregate, coconut husk and coal. Of course some spent time teasing and splashing water around, but then everything needs some light moments to keep students engaged. At last the layers were filled and mesh covered the water channels were well trimmed so that runoff water could be guided appropriately to the pit.  Finally on The stipulated day an official programme of handing over was done in the presence of students, faculty and principal. Incidentally panchayat president had come to the college on that day as part of some other activities. She happened to see this initiative and was highly impressed by this concept. She expressed her desire to implement it in a larger scale. This idea was pitched to the us . I believe goodness is contagious. Students were  charged up and eager to take up this noble cause . This led a discussion between Panchayt president and Principal. Finally it was decided that the department students and staff will fund  rain pits for villagers around the college in tie up with Panchayat. Each one including staff and students contributed to built around 26 rain pits . That’s how “Uravu” programme began  The name represented “source ” of water. We were asked to take initiative in propagating as well as executing this plan. We were more than happy to accept the challenge. We did a detailed survey and awareness programme. With hard work, sincere efforts from all of us and little bit of awareness campaigns, within few weeks the rain pits were made.

 For a place like Kerala with enough amount of rain, drought in summer is mainly due to lack of preservation of water. This rain pit helped the villagers to a great extent to sustain water for summer. More people started to adopt this method. More than the financial contribution the fact that we could initiate our students to get involved in such an activity benefiting the people around was the biggest achievement. Something which started as a small initiative ended up as a programme useful to  many families. On a lighter note, a small plunge into a muddy pool could initiate a change to create such multiple pools of water. Literally a small step made a big change. We were all happy about the effects, especially the gratifying smiles on those peoples face.

uravu 1

Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe nowFor every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.


Header pic of water from HMWSSB sitewater


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