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December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011At 8:30 a.m., our drivers arrived to pick us up for tours of the rural villages. Because of the heavy fog, the tour car did not leave for at least another hour!

We finally got on the road and traveled about an hour and a half outside the city to a district called Mewat. This district is particularly interesting because it is “stuck in the past” as far as city development is concerned. IRRAD is focusing on this area with all of their water resources planning and research. In Mewat, there are many villages, and we stopped at a few of them to see the dwindling water supplies firsthand.

These facilities included water wells that have been dry for some time, water pumps in the city, and check dams to keep a reservoir full during the monsoon season.

When we were preparing for this visit, the women of our group were told to wear long sleeves, long skirts, and scarves on our heads! Also, none of us were allowed … which they use as a home base. This is where we ate our lunch and began to discuss what we saw in the villages. The women in all of these villages are the ones who do a lot of the work in the home; the men go to town to drink tea when they aren’t planting or harvesting. The little boys play cricket to pass the time. It is so fascinating that they are comfortable with this lifestyle even though they can see other areas changing and growing.

At IRRAD’s building, they are able to host training sessions for all the village champions. These champions are the men of the villages who wish to see a change in their water supply. We applaud IRRAD for wanting to bring in the locals to maintain these water structures and to educate the locals on what this does for them.

Our last stop of the day was at an exceptional village called Notki. This is the model village for everything IRRAD has been working toward. The village is located in an excellent area where they have plenty of fresh water (not salt water) coming from the wells. These wells have not shown signs of drying up yet! So IRRAD built two major structures in this village.

The first is the hospital — more like a doctor’s office with only two small rooms, it is where the women of the villages go to give birth. The women don’t get much medical attention in the village, but it is much better than having the baby at home!

The second structure is the school. This school teaches students from the first grade through the eighth. The first grade has about 65 children, and the eighth has only 15. Many kids drop out to work in the home or just to play more until they inherit the farm from their fathers. The older they get, the less the children attend.

Once we were done in the villages, we drove all the way back to Gurgaon and ate dinner at a cafe at the mall. The food was excellent, and it was interesting how much attention they gave us!

Then all the ladies went shopping for kurtas to wear to our New Year’s Eve party. The men looked at the tunic selection. Once we got home, everyone was just exhausted, and we all went our separate ways to bed!

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Last modified on September 9th, 2015
Posted on July 22nd, 2012