42-year-old farmer Sanjay Tidke and his brother from Maharashtra’s Akola district had about 30 acres of land in Sangvi Durgwada village in Murtizapur taluka. Their main produce from this farm land is Cotton and Soyabean.
A canal flows through his farm. Since there was no dam present in that area to block water, every monsoon a large portion of the farm would get washed off, causing huge losses. For quite some time, he has been repeatedly asking the administration for assistance to build a dam to stop water from coming into his farm. But there was no positive response. So finally he decided to do something on his own.
Out of his total 30 acres that he owned, he finally decided to sell off the part of his farmland that always used to get washed off during the rains. He sold that part of the land, 10 acres, for Rs 55 lakh. He is using Rs 20 lakh from this amount now to build a concrete dam for the entire locality. This concrete dam will have a water storage capacity of 3 crore litres.
Earlier, Tidke tried constructing a dam made of soil. But both his previous attempts in 2013 and 2014 yielded no result as the soil dam gets washed off once it starts raining. And thus, the only solution this farmer was left with was to have a concrete dam. To meet the cost of the concrete dam, he approached the relevant government officials for assistance. But alas, he was surprised to see any response, and instead he was accused of buying sand ‘illegally.’ Only the officials of the district agriculture department helped Tidke with expertise on how and which type of dam to construct.
“On one hand the Maharashtra government is spending crores of rupees to undertake water conservation projects, and on the other hand, when a farmer is spending money from his own pocket to do something for the village, the government officials still create problems,” says Tidke in an interview given to Times of India.
The construction of the dam, which started in March, will be completed by first half of June this year. Tidke is proud of the fact that not only him but the entire village will benefit from this project. The farmers around that area will now be able to grow a second crop using the water in the dam.
A big salute to the spirit of this farmer – Sanjay Tidke.
Image and video: source