A teacher is one who inspires his students to excel in life and career. And who better than the principal of Government Middle School at Katarwara village of Chhatarpur district can prove this. Sample this. A group of students from this school have built a temporary stop dam on a river, which used to go dry gradually after the rainy season, using sandbags.
Students say that it was their principal, Bhaiya Raja Bundela, who told them about the importance of water conservation especially river water. Inspired, the students on October 21 reached the spot after their school hours and got down to work. Seeing the zeal and determination of the students, villagers too joined them and the project was completed in flat four hours.
However, the participation of the villagers was not so easy to come. Initially, when Bundela along with two of his teachers — Kamal Kishore Awasthi and Rajaram Ahirwar — had tried to explain to the villagers about the hardships that they might face during the winters this year as the district had received below average rainfall and water level in the river was already low, the villagers were not ready to listen. They ignored their advice of building a stop dam on the river.
"This year, the rainfall has been below average in the area and sensing problem in future, I along with the two teachers thought of constructing a temporary stop dam on river with the help of villagers. Though the villagers did not listen to us, but our students proved that they had the ability to take up big tasks and took up the challenge without any hesitation. We constructed the stop dam at such a spot, where the river water will be held in large quantity and after the Rabi crops are irrigated, there would still be ample water for the villagers and the cattle," said the school prinicpal.
A student Vinod said, "Last year after the crops were irrigated during the Rabi season, the river had almost dried up the village had to face a drought-like situation. When our teachers told us that river water could be saved for summer with the help of stop dam, we were motivated and began the work along with them. This work is done now and it would prove to be useful for the villagers in the future."
It can be mentioned here that the village has a population of around 1,000 people. The river, Urmil, is considered to be lifeline for this village as they (farmers, cattle) all depend on it for water. However, the river itself is largely dependent on monsoon and after the rainy season, water level in the river starts depleting and after winter gets over, there hardly remains any water in it as Rabi crops is irrigated.