Making enough money to survive is a daily struggle for Lekhraj Ji from Rahlana village in the Dudu Block, Jaipur. But even when he can’t get masonry work from nearby villages to supplement earnings from agriculture, he still helps his community to thrive.
This 50 year old proud father of 3 (and 3 grandchildren) started supporting WaterHarvest’s GVNML projects back in 2008 by helping to build and monitor vital work such as rainwater harvesting systems and planting trees. Seven years on, he now supports the Village Development Committee on decision-making, helps neighbours with legal issues, and after training, approached the local government (Panchayat) to request funds from government schemes. Lekhraj Ji’s wife, Rukma Devi is an active member of their self-help group, working and saving together, and he takes great pride in motivating others to keep their houses and village clean, and be good village citizens.
“I believe that to support one another, and your environment, is the key to a healthy and happy life, away from corruption and addiction,” said Lekhraj Ji, who added: “I want my village to be a place where men and women of different castes can live together as equals.”
Head of GVNML, Laxman Ji Singh commented: “The success of our work is reliant on committed, selfless, inspiring villagers and Lekhraj Ji is a shining example.”
“I know it is a good sign when I see more and more of my neighbours celebrate Diwali (the largest Hindu festival of the year) in my village.” Lekhraj Ji smiles. “Before, they had to leave because there was no fodder for cattle, but now, there is more water, food and fodder, and it makes me so happy!”