Mapping of villages by groups is a step towards micro planning. Mapping is an event which brings women, village functionaries and elected members of local governments/Panchayats together in a fun workshop exercise which acts as a starting point for partnership.

How is mapping done ?

A day is declared as the village mapping day. Women leaders and village teachers form a team to go on a walking tour starting with the main road on to the temple and the houses and the different vastis or wadas. Wells, water taps, toilets, drainages are marked. Women gather as a group near the temple or the community center or in a courtyard armed with rangoli powder and chalks. Women proceed from the home to the entire settlement.

While drawing and discussing the social barriers begin to erode and women start sharing problems regarding the layout of their villages and the struggle to access amenities.

As a tool, participatory mapping with communities not only allows women to gain a more conscious outlook of their villages but acts as a means to begin focusing on the lack of specific amenities (such as a space for meetings for women's groups, anganwadis- children's crèches etc.

In over 50 villages, Panchayat women members and leaders, conducted village mapping events in Latur and Osmanabad districts. Here, problem areas were identified as the Anganwadis, drinking water and roads, electricity, toilets for women.

Using Mapping in Anandwadi

In Anandwadi village of Latur district, mapping was followed by collective analysis exercise. The village needs were-drinking water, roads and drainages. Different solutions were discussed.

One of the things that became clear from mapping water supply and water sources in settlements was that the water scarcity that some households experienced was related to the fact that there were no pipelines or storage tanks to bring water to their settlements.

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To improve access to drinking water it was necessary to do several things. A number of things need to be repaired -hand pumps, an old tank to store water and platforms. The women's collectives would have to raise funds for this. The other part of the solution was to install pipeline of 600 ft from one end of the village to the other and construct a storage tank in the water-scarce settlement.

The action plan was then discussed in gram sabhas or village assembly. The gram panchayat supported the women's group and this increased the community contribution, which included both cash and construction materials for construction. The village with 250 families has sufficient water. Women need to go across the village to the river to fetch water.

Women also had the road repaired one kilometer road from The road to the school helps children and mothers who need to go to and from the school. The women's groups organized the entire village to contribute their
time to work on the road.

What began as a map opened people's eyes to many things

Location of basic services.
Detailed profile of the village.
Problems in accessing basic services.
Roles of Gram Panchayat members and women groups in solving the problems.
Access to village development schemes.
Basic needs plan like school, drinking water etc. were not met.
Budgets and allocation for Gram Panchayat schemes.

In Usturi village in Latur district, the village mapping resulted in big gains for the entire village. A 2,500 meter pipeline scheme was revived, resources obtained from the government and outreach to the Dalit houses.

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