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Trickle Up India: The Lift Irrigation Song
It is as plain as any structure could be. A concrete block house on the edge of the Chaka stream, in the hamlet of Nimtalakuli, in the village of Majhihira, an hour’s drive from the town of Purullia, which is a six-hour train ride from Kolkata. The block house has a corrugated metal roof, and the man who tends it has to bang the rusty handle with a hammer to open the door. Inside it is dark and damp, and all you can hear is the heartbeat of an eight-horsepower diesel pump. A green plastic hose leads to the pump from an eight-inch square hole in the wall of the blockhouse; the hose delivers water from the Chaka, and a second hose carries the water out of another opening on the opposite side of the building.
That's all it has taken to improve the lives of the majority of the 120 families who live in Nimtalakuli, which is among the poorest villages in all of India. The method, which uses the pump and gravity wherever possible, is called "lift irrigation," and has been so beneficial for the village, the lives of its inhabitants have changed dramatically–so much so that this Trickle Up project has been honored with a folk song.
Written and performed by Nibaran Mohato in Manjhihiri, a village in India.