The season of festivities has always held a special meaning for Tunga Trekkers. It is that time of the year when we trek and spend time away from all the glitter of the city and in lap of the nature. Each year we identify a difficult to access remote village around Western Ghats. The idea is to celebrate Diwali with our less fortunate tribal brothers and sisters . Spending quality time, sharing little joys while trying to identify problems faced by these tribal folk and provide solutions if possible .

This year we chose a hamlet called Pethechi Wadi located at the base of famous trek destination; Harishchandragad. Little background of the village follows.

  • Remotely located with at least 3 hours of drive from any small town. Road conditions bad to worst
  • About 50 odd households with a population of 300/400
  • Small scale farming, livestock is only source of income
  • Extreme water shortage during summer
  • No access to basic healthcare even in case of emergency
  • An ill-managed primary school with student strength of 20 only . Secondary school is 30 odd kms away

Life is tough is it not?? The story does not change!! All we can do is shed a few sympathetic tears right????

NO… Sometimes we need to take matters in our own hands and ensure that plight of these villages and many others gets heard of. And that is exactly what we did.

We partnered with another agency called Gadvat (गडवाट); who has strong local presence and arranged for a meet with local political / administrative bodies along with villagers . Because of our persuasive support, villagers actually could communicate their grievances to the authorities .

Result??

  • A sum of 3,00,000 was sanctioned for a water storage tank by authorities
  • New pipe line work to source water from a nearby reservoir is scheduled
  • Expansion of school building to commence before next academic year
  • An ambulance with the help of a medical trust situated in town of Rajur with OPD access will be effective from next week
  • A project to encourage tribal craftsmanship to help generate employment is planned

Local political leadership has adopted this village to create a template for government supported tribal welfare schemes.

A little support from us city dwellers and with relentless persuasive efforts by Gadvat family have borne such sweet fruits I must say.

This called for celebrations off course…. We Tunga trekkers enjoyed our fruits of labour by sharing few goodies such as cloths for elderly n kids, sarees for ladies , school kits and sweets for kids and other household items for families . Thank you all those who participated and contributed towards our cause.

And last but not the least, icing on the cake – press coverage by local news paper.

– Vivek Patil