Where: the eastern state of Orissa,India

July 19: Banjipali village stands on a hill surrounded by forest. It is a very small village, with about 150 people. They are mostly poor tribals from the Binjhal community. For years they have suffered from a water shortage and from the fact that it is very easy for the world to forget about small villages tucked away in some forest. So they decided to take matters in their hands and came up with a very sweet idea.

They have honey instead of water. For honey is found in large amounts in the forest.

Honey, what about it?
Honey, what about it? []
A report in The Times of India> says that one of the village elders taught the villagers how to collect honey. Soon honey replaced water. Then it replaced sugar and jaggery in tea and sweets. Even their voices must have become honeyed by now!

Honey, what about it?
Honey, what about it? []
Each family collects about 10 to 20 litres of honey every month, selling a large amount of it in the local market. They keep the amount they need for their personal use. It is their belief that honey gives them strength and keeps illnesses away. The proof seems to be in eating the pudding, or rather the honey pancakes the villagers are so fond of making during festivals. It seems the villagers rarely visit the health centre which is quite some distance away.

Now for the question: Do you think that the villagers deserve to get a proper water supply, as they are entitled to, or should they continue to be healthy with honey?

Want to know more?

Read about the ‘Different Colours of Honey’