In the village of Ayyagarlapalli, Thippamma and Hanumakka stand as ideals of leadership, resilience, and community mobilisation. With a shared history spanning over four decades, these two women have dedicated their lives to fostering positive change and development in their village and neighbouring communities.
The story begins in 1980 when the village faced a health crisis due to water source contamination. Undeterred by adversity, Thippamma and Hanumakka recognised the need for a collective effort, forming a development committee transcending social and economic backgrounds.
Through collaboration with the Rural Development Trust (RDT), the committee successfully implemented a sustainable solution—a drinking water tank that now serves five villages. However, their commitment extends beyond their community, as they envision a broader impact. With plans to purchase a cart to distribute water to more villages at an affordable rate, they epitomise the spirit of solidarity and shared responsibility.
Thippamma and Hanumakka’s influence extends beyond water-related initiatives. They were instrumental in establishing the first women’s sangham in 1994. From a humble start of 30 women, these groups have multiplied, challenging societal norms and fostering a mentality shift towards development. Their leadership extends to the Community Development Committee, showcasing a commitment to equal representation.
Emphasising autonomy, Thippamma and Hanumakka stress the importance of self-sufficiency in community development. In their words: “One person alone cannot change the destiny of a community, but a united community can change the destiny of the people”. Their life’s work is a testament to the transformative power of unity, equality, and unwavering dedication to development.