For, not only have they taken it upon themselves to save the environment, but they have also tried rooting out a social evil in their bid to do so. They levied fines on tipplers and utilised the amount collected for desilting part of a lake on Monday. The waterbody is now providing irrigation to three villages.
The 250-acre ‘Sadayan’ lake located in Kulamangalam village near Orathanadu in Thanjavur was left abandoned for years after a portion of the waterbody was encroached upon. To revive the waterbody which played a vital role in irrigating not only Kulamangalam but Okkanadu, Keezhayur, Melaiyur and Vannipattu villages as well, the group convened a meeting and formed a committee to save the waterbody. They decided to fine alcoholics who would create ruckus after consuming booze. “The amount
was anything between Rs 1,000 and 5000. This plan worked in our favour,” said K Anand, one of the committee volunteers.
The committee also found that a few people had encroached upon 80 acres of land and were using it for personal purposes. The group then met the encroachers and asked them to give back the land for the benefit of the village and this too went off without a glitch, Anand added.
The group has divided this particular project into phases and as part of Phase 1, members also collected
Rs 2,000 from every household and the total amount came to Rs 5 lakh with which to begin the desilting. The members said their plan of action had been approved by the elders and others living outside the village as well. Now, more funds have started pouring in and the group plans on reviving the entire 250-acre lake.