A Visit to Bhond by Neha Singh
My visit to Bhond has become a part of my cherished memories. This charming little village has transformed itself into a model village within 4 years. I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to get a sneak-peek into the life of its people. I am thankful to Feedback Foundation facilitators and soldiers namely, Vinod Kumar, Gulshan, Biswajeet who effortlessly coordinated and tirelessly supported us during our visit to the village till the very end of our trip. Last but not least, we are thankful to our driver, Charan Singh who took us to visit the village.
My travel companion, Sarmista Patra and I were very excited indeed at the prospect of being given this unique opportunity to experience the village and its life at close quarters. Nestled among the verdantly green Aravali hills of Mewat District, Haryana, I found Bhond to be exactly how I imagined it to be - an idyllic village. The warmth, energy of its people and the disarming smiles of the school children took our breath away as we immersed ourselves into discovering the hard work and effort behind the village's metamorphoses.
Our first stop was a quaint, red-bricked village school. As we entered the small courtyard the place was reverberating with the echoes of children playing and classes in progress. While interacting with the headmasters we absorbed the story of the transformation of the little village school. In the old days, the school was treated as a dumping ground of trash and a place for gambling for the villagers. The drop-out rates were high and the turnout rate of girls attending school was low. Through sheer dint of will power, determination and courage of conviction Feedback Foundation and Feedback INFRA ploughed through the various challenges that were presented to them. The fruits of their labour cannot be sweeter than by witnessing a complete transformation of the village school with a 100% success rate.
Next, we availed of the hospitality of two homes in the village. The first one boasted of an occupant who wowed even the Management with her talent and prowess. Extremely nimble and skilled the lady in the first house showed off her jute bags and retold the story of how she managed to make 50 bags over three days! This she accomplished along with diligently attending to the duties of home and hearth. A little later her father proudly talked about his daughter's sewing talents and said that she was always interested and creative and now she can showcase her talent to the outside world, thanks to the Foundation's effort and goodwill. The second home in the village that welcomes us with radiant warmth was the head of the village, a lady – the Sarpanch. We felt quite important as the ladies from the neighbouring homes came to say hello. The Sarpanch was unassuming as I imagined her to be a shy individual. One can blame that to my first impression of her with her face fully covered in a veil. But she engaged with us animatedly with a glowing smile and personage as we chatted with her. Our little tete-a-tete with the other village women was littered with jokes and teases.
Our next destination took us to a Dam built by the Feedback Foundation and Feedback Infra. The Dam looked stark, grey, and efficient nestled within the green Aravalis. The villagers proudly showed off the Dam as we climbed to its height and took in the full view and capacity of the Dam for harvesting rainwater. The Dam has also helped raise the groundwater level in the area.
Very soon our time to bid adieu came close as we said goodbye and thanked the villagers for a wonderful, joyous and fulfilling trip to a village named Bhond, with memories that will always fill me with a flood of sunshine.