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Power of the Constitution: The 15-Day Water Connection Story


In the village of Polapathar, situated in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, the government school faced a pressing issue. Despite having toilets for the students and three hand-pumps, there was a critical lack of water. This dire situation meant that the students had no access to clean drinking water, and the scarcity of water in the toilets compelled them to resort to open defecation. Unsurprisingly, this predicament led to a significant increase in the dropout rate, particularly among girls beyond the 7th standard.

Rashmi didi, a concerned resident of the village, had been troubled by this issue for an extended period. She had attempted to address the matter by engaging in discussions with the Sarpanch and the school's teachers, but her efforts yielded no results. No one seemed to know who was responsible for resolving this problem. However, when Rashmi didi became part of the Civic Literacy and Engagement Programme, she gained a profound understanding of how the Constitutional framework could be utilised to tackle such issues.

Empowered with this knowledge, she composed an application addressed to the Janpad Panchayat and the District Education Office in Betul, specifically concerning the malfunctioning hand-pumps. Initially, her complaint was declined, and she was directed to contact the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department. Encouraged by an assurance from the department, she hoped for a resolution. Unfortunately, her optimism was met with disappointment as the situation remained unchanged.

Undeterred, Rashmi didi embarked on a journey through various bureaucratic offices, enduring a wait of over a month in pursuit of a solution. Ultimately, she decided to take her complaint online. Astonishingly, within a mere 15 days of filing the online complaint, the hand-pumps were swiftly repaired and brought back into operation, heralding a significant positive change in the village's access to water.


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