Community Stakeholders on Developing Infrastructure

Infrastructure investment in the development of communications, IT, roads, urinals, schools, community spaces and hospitals is important to economic development as well as the quality of life in communities.  At Mundra many such initiatives have been taken to build physical infrastructure like roads, animal husbandry sheds, community halls, invested in public spaces like a state of the art cricket ground, children’s parks, boundary walls for crematoriums, developing village squares and sanitation facilities.i-community-stakeholders

Article4_5Punshi Gadhvi, 50 years old, Mota Bhadiya Village Gaushala, Roads, Community hall –  Former sarpanch of the village“Earlier the entire area was a jungle and there was no availability of fodder, very low agricultural production and animals were expensive and unaffordable. The Gaushala by CGPL was started in 2009 and now people supply milk to local dairies like Mother Dairy and make good profits. Milk Collection Centers have been created and agricultural plots have been supported. Infrastructure has always been the Government’s priority but with CGPL, new roads have been built which has increased connectivity and safety of the local people. There should be an increased level of investment in the area with regard to infrastructure creation and CGPL has done a great job in embracing that responsibility. There was nothing in the area to ensure sustained development but with the inception of CGPL, there is more employment provision, higher daily wages, new check dams, etc. They always consult opinion leaders and the community at large before making interventions. A place like Mundra, where no one dared to venture is now in the stage of rapid development and social conditions have been made better to live in. This is all to the credit of CGPL.”

Article4_6Pethabhai Rabari, 36 years old, Vandh village Community hall, Sanitation

“I am a trader and a shop keeper, whose shop has been in the village for the past 10 years. I worked in Mumbai for a few years and decided to return home when I heard of the new era of industrialization in my predominantly agricultural village. I remember during the initial days when the jungle was cut with the commencement of the company’s construction activity. It was the greatest problem we ever perceived for ladies in our village since open defection was the culture prevailing in our villages. Several meetings and interactions were conducted by the CR team to make us understand the necessity of household sanitation units, but it took us 8-9 months to understand that. CGPL parallely started the SHG movement in the village and through that, women in the village started taking decisions for their own health and hygiene issues. Their livelihoods improved and through savings, they started contributing in their homes which helped the women in convincing their counterparts on the importance of sanitation units. 300 toilets have now been built in the village to improve sanitation facilities and cater to health issues. This highlights the care and responsibility CGPL extends towards our community and village. The timely effort of CGPL has helped us to overcome these challenges and today we claim that our village has 100% individual sanitation units. Representatives from Government of Gujarat have also visited the village to verify the application submitted by our Gram Panchayat for Nirmal Gram Yojana. I feel that the community hall is also a great investment made by CGPL since it is now possible to host various weddings, functions, meetings, consultations, etc for the villagers.”

Article4_7Harkhuben, 32 years old, Vandh village Sanitation Unit

“I have been staying in this village for the past 5 years and there have been holistic initiatives for development in animal husbandry, for community halls and sanitation. I constantly interact and meet with the team members of CGPL through my SHG. I am paid a visit 3-4 times a month by the CGPL CR team. We are always given due importance in any intervention or decision making for the development of the village. The sanitation program of CGPL is where each household is given Rs. 9000 for building individual toilets in their homes. The payment is made by the company after 100% completion of the construction. We have to invest Rs.1500- 2000 depending on how we want the toilets to be. More than 300 toilets have been compensated for in the village, by CGPL.  Things have changed drastically in the last few years and earlier open defecation was a common problem. There would be issues during the night to venture into the jungle for women and most urinals were set up only for men, creating safety issues. This program has also led to the improvement in social status of women and reduced health issues which we faced earlier. This intervention has truly created a realistic feeling of progress and urbanization in our area.”

Article4_8Digvijay Zala, 26 years old, (Sarpanch of Tunda-Vandh Gram Panchayat) Cricket ground and Panchvati – Businessman and Youth Leader

“Public spaces like community halls and gardens bring communities together, gives a place to the children to play and families to go for outings. CGPL’s interventions have been helpful for the community to reap the benefits I just mentioned. Sports has always played an integral part to get communities together, given youth a chance to showcase their talent, identified and groomed talent from the beginning and made them ready to achieve accomplishments at higher stages. The full fledge cricket ground and stadium built by CGPL will help sporting activities not only in the village but at a regional level. This ground is the 2nd biggest in Kutch. I am a part of the sports committee and we plan to hold regional level sporting competitions. Such competitions will increase interactions between different villages in the region and further the brotherhood of Kutch. It will make our village an important area for sporting activities and development in the region. The competitions will help us identify talent at a young age who we can groom to reach national and international levels. The construction of this cricket ground provides me an opportunity to remember the words of Mr. Ratan Tata “A Promise is a Promise”. It was somewhere in 2009-10 when Mr. Prasad Menon (earlier MD of Tata Power) visited the village. The CR team asked opinion leaders and members of the village panchayats to take ownership of the visit and orient him to the villages. This in our opinion was a real engagement of senior leaders with the community. During the discussion with the panchayat members, women and youth of the villages, Mr. Prasad Menon promised three things, a cricket ground, a community hall at Vandh and starting english speaking classes. All these three promises have been kept by CGPL. This highlights the fact that we are the neighbors of CGPL- Tata Power, in the true sense.”

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