75-year-old tribal man Daitari Nayak in Odisha’s Keonjhar district carved a 3-km-long canal through a mountain helping irrigate 100 acres of lands in his village.
Nayak, a 75-year-old farmer of Talabaitarani village in Banspal block of Kenojhar district started digging through the Gonasika mountains in 2010 as erratic rains would fail his crops repeatedly. The only way he could get water to his barren lands was from a nearby stream that came out from Gonasika mountains. Armed with a hoe and a crowbar, Nayak started digging through the mountainous roads while villagers sneered at his effort. But an undeterred Nayak carried on for some months till he was joined by his four brothers. The villagers joined in only after the canal built by Nayak and his brothers with pebbles, mud and rocks neared their village.
The 3-km-long canal was finally completed in 2013 and has helped irrigate over 100 acres of land in Talabaitarani village for last 5 years. The villagers are now growing paddy, maize and mustard as well as some vegetables. The district administration is also planning to felicitate Nayak for his efforts in bringing water to the village farms. Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik said CM Naveen Patnaik should learn from Nayak and address irrigation problems in State.
Early this year, another tribal in Kandhamal district too came into prominence for building a 8-km road through the mountains so that his three sons could travel to a nearby school without any hinderance. Jalandhar Nayak, 45 hammered his way through a mountain Kandhamal for 2 years as his sons were finding it difficult to cross the hillocks and reach school.
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