VSSM’s water conservation efforts recently took me to Vaghpura village near Gujarat-Rajasthan boarder. The villagers had requested for deepening of their community lake. As usual our condition of villagers contributing to lifting the excavated soil as well as small cash donation (to be used for water conservation works in the village) by each household while VSSM supported JCB expenses prevailed. The objective of the visit was to meet the community and leaders to discuss the telephonic conversations in person.
“Ben, this year we faced an onslaught locust on our crops which caused severe damage to our crops. The loss has been immense. Also because we are at the fringe of Gujarat, we have remained a deprived and backward area as most benefits do not reach us as well as they do in other villages. However, we shall do as you tell us too!!” Sarpanch Virabhai spoke on behalf of the leaders and the community.
It was a regular visit to meet the community and see the region, the lake etc but what was striking about this village was the place we were seated. Under the glorious and massive shade of a woodland created by 108 peepul trees, right at the centre of the village. It has taken them 10 years to raise these native trees. Peepul isn’t a tree humans Peepul is not a species that many prefer to plant, however, a saint visited the village and insisted that he will meditate under the canopy of 108 peepul trees, as a result, these trees were planted. And it was not just here they had planted trees at many other places too. This habit of planting trees speaks a lot about the sincerity of the community and its leadership. Our experience says that people show a lot of enthusiasm in planting trees but when it comes to raising them they don’t feel as encouraged but the villagers here had succeeded in showing their commitment towards both planting and raising the trees.
Their unity has been inspiring too. When we conveyed our intention to conduct tree plantation drive along with deepening of lakes, they immediately welcomed the idea and were ready to allot land for the same.
I was accompanied by respected Shri Rashminbhai Sanghvi who is like a father to me and someone who helped us initiate and shape the water conservation efforts, Shri Girishbhai Saive and Ms Shweta Dodeja.
We hope more and more villages are inspired to join this movement.
પાસો વિસ્તારેય પસાત. છતો તમે કો સો ઈમ થશે એટલો ફાળો ભેરો કરી આલશું. પાસુ અમારુ આ ગોમ બોર્ડર પરનું એટલે બીજા ગોમોન મળ એવા લાભથીયે અમે વંચિત રહી જઈએ. છતો કરીશું થાય એ’
VSSM has initiated a water conservation campaign with an objective to retain the waters of villages and farms. The first phase of this campaign began in Banaskantha district where we have been receiving very good response. The communities are waking up to the urgent need to conserve water.
This year we have already kicked off the village lake deepening efforts. The works for the same are on in Sihori village in Kankrej. Recently, I was in the region to meet the community and monitor on-going efforts. The attached images share glimpses of the work in progress. As we have mentioned here at past occasions, VSSM takes the responsibility of JCB expenses while the villagers have to take the responsibility of ferrying the excavated soil.
VSSM’s Participatory Water Management campaign was launched to put this phrase into practice. The initiative was launched Banaskantha where the groundwater tables have gone alarmingly low. It all began with deepening of the village lakes. Until last year we have deepened 87 lakes in partnership with the village community.
“Until how long should we depend on somebody else worry about what is ours, our water, our land, our resources. How long should one wait for the government to come and help or an organisation to come and do the needful? We need to take responsibility for common property resources that exist for our collective benefit. If one has contributed he or she will ask questions and show concern for it’s up-keeping. One will question if someone is encroaching over it or drawing water without permission.” It is to raise this kind of awareness that we have initiate strict enforcement of the contribution norm as well. And Vada, Khorda and Kuvaarva have contributed willingly towards the water corpus in their village. Hope we have similar experiences throughout the year!!!
In the earlier days, the farmers would begin to have an easier workload after the Rabi crop was harvested because the groundwater wasn’t explored yet hence there was no possibility of farming during summers. “So what did they do during this free time?” is an obvious thought that crosses our mind.
Do you think they spent their time ideally? Never! It is not in a farmer’s nature to sit still. They would till their soil and prepare their farms for the next season. They would repair and restore traditional water sources of their own and that of the village. Yes, they never depended on anybody else to come and take care of the water sources of their village. Today we depend on the government to come and take care of common property resources of our villages.
The communities in rural areas will benefit only when the lakes will deepen, and hold the rainwater into it. Why depend on government for all such needs. Yes, if it happens nothing like it but consider it an added benefit. Do what we have to do, whatever is our responsibility.
When one fails to protect common property resources they become history. There are numerous examples of lakes encroached upon and being used to farm. ‘once upon a time there was a lake here…’ we have heard this at countless places.We are driving our efforts to include the villagers to take responsibility for their resources. We are reaching out to villagers, organising meetings to evoke this sense of responsibility and duty in them.
We are hopeful that the response is going to be better than the previous 3 years.
It is time we return to mother earth all that we have taken from her for all these years.
Vada village has taken up the responsibility to do its part for the protection of its water sources. Have you??
Images of our meetings and discussions…
ઉનાળો શરૃ થશે એટલે આપણે સૌ ઝાડ, પાણી ટૂંકમાં પર્યાવરણની ચિંતા સેવવાનું શરૃ કરીશું.
#gujarat #banaskantha #watermanagement #જળસંચય #વિચરતા #વિમુક્ત #ગામ #participatorywatermanagement #લોકભાગીદારી #saveearth #savewater #environment #savetheplanet #nature #climate #mittalpatel #મીતલપટેલ
“Ben, please deepen the lake in our village. We promise we shall offer best possible support and contribution!!”
Shri Arjunbhai Joshi, Sarpanch of Khorda village in Banaskantha’s Tharad block appealed us. Consequent to the request, a meeting with village leaders and community was organised.
We discussed how VSSM works in partnership with the village leadership and does not initiate any work without an agreement.
The primary criteria for VSSM to take up the work of deepening village lakes are:
1) VSSM will only contribute towards the expenses of JCB incurred in the excavating the soil.
2) The soil will be ferried out by the villagers.
3) The community will also contribute in cash but the amount will not be used towards the cost incurred in ferrying the excavated soil.
Once the village leadership agrees to the mentioned conditions we proceed with further discussions and evaluations.
The first meeting for 2020 was organised at Korda village, where Sarpanch Shri Arjunbhai pledged personal contribution of Rs. 1,11,111, a staff of Panchayat also pledged his one month’s salary. Once the actual work begins we expect more contributions to pour in.
It is time we realise the gravity of the looming water crisis and collectively work to tackle it.
In the pictures- current condition of the lake proposed to be excavated. Also seen is the meeting in progress.
‘અમારા ગોમમોં તળાવો ગાળો બેન, હારમ હારો સહકાર અમે ગોમના આલશ્….’
બનાસકાંઠાના થરાદના ખોરડાગામના સરપંચ શ્રી અર્જુનભાઈ જોષીએ આ કહ્યું અને ગામલોકો સાથે અમે એક બેઠકનું આયોજન કર્યું.
બેઠકમાં ઉપસ્થિતિ લોકોને અમે તળાવ ઊંડુ કરવા માટે ગામલોકોનો ફાળો પણ જોઈએ તેવી વાત કરી. મૂળ તો અમારા નિયમ પ્રમાણે જેસીબીનો ખર્ચ સંસ્થા આપે, માટી ઉપાડવાનું ગામના શીરે અને એ સિવાય ગામલોકો પૈસા ભેગા કરે જે તળાવ ગાળવામાં વપરાય. આ પૈસા માટી ઉપાડવામાં નહીં વાપરવા. આવા નિયમો સાથે સહમત ગામોમાં જ તળાવ કરવાનું અમે નક્કી કર્યું અને એ માટે આ વર્ષની શરૃઆતમાં થરાદના ખોરડ઼ાગામમાં અમે બેઠક કરી.
બેઠકમાં લોકો ભાગીદારીથી આ કામ કરવાની વાત કરી. ગામના સરપંચ અર્જુનભાઈએ રૃા. 1,11,111 તળાવ ગળાવવા પોતાના આપવાની જાહેરાત કરી તો, ગામના પંચાયતઘરમાં કામ શીરસ્તેદાર તરીકે કામ કરતા ભાઈએ પોતાનો એક પગાર આપવાની વાત કરી.
જો કે તળાવ ગાળવાનું હજુ શરૃ થયું નથી થશે એટલે સહકાર વધુ મળવાનો એ નક્કી…પણ દરેક ગામ જાગે અને પોતાની મા એવી ધરતીની ચિંતા કરે એ જરૃરી…
ગામનું જે તળાવ ગાળવાનું છે તેની હાલની સ્થિતિ.. તથા ગામલોકો સાથે થયેલી બેઠકના ફોટો
#MittalPatel #VSSM #water_management #water_resources #use_of_water #groundwater #Water_conservation #Waste_stabilization_pond #Water_cycle_management #Banaskantha #Pond_Excavation #Participatory_Water_Management
Water is life and yet we have chosen to care the least for this natural element that is so crucial to human existence.
The groundwater levels in most parts of our country are dwindling at an alarming rate. VSSM has initiated Participatory Water Management program to address the severe water crisis in the Banaskantha region. It has been working with the local communities to deepen the village lakes. In the past 3 years it has deepened 87 lakes in various villages of Banaskantha. We plan to take the program forward even in 2020. A planning and strategy building exercise has been initiated with the village leaders in this regard. A meeting with the Sarpanch and leaders of Savan village was organised. A thorough discussion on why this concern for the current water scenario, joining hands with local communities, it was also decided to request the government to link and fill up of lakes with the water from Sardar Sarovar’s main canal. The members pledged to look beyond personal interests and goals and work collectively for the greater good. Be true ‘sons of the soil’.
This year too we hope to receive a positive and forward looking response to the water conservation efforts in Banaskantha. It is for the community to prove that though the earth has dried up in the region their hearts haven’t and they still care for the drying underbelly of this planet we call home. I am grateful to all who decided to remain present in the meeting and contribute for a better and greener future.
VSSM’s Naran and Ishwar are driving these efforts forward in Banaskantha.
To propose and carry out water conservation works in Banaskantha kindly contact Naran Raval on 9099936035 while for Tharad get in touch with Shardaben Bhati on 9099936014.
Kindly note – only those villages should get in touch who are willing to contribute and participate towards these efforts.
જળ એ જીવન..
આપણે સૌ આ વાતને જાણીએ સમજીએ છતાં જળની જોઈએ એવી ચિંતા આપણે કરતા નથી તે હકીકત છે..
બનાસકાંઠામાં પાણીના તળની સ્થિતિ ખરાબ થઈ રહી છે. આ તળને સાબદા રાખવા આપણા પરંપરાગત જલ સ્ત્રોતોને સાચવવા અને તેને ફરીથી સાબદા- સરખા કરવા જરૃરી છે.
અમે છેલ્લા ત્રણ વર્ષમાં બનાસકાંઠામાં 87 તળાવ ઊંડા કર્યા.
2020માં જલ અભીયાન અંતર્ગત તળાવો ઊંડા કરવાનું પાછું શરૃ કરવું છે..
પણ એ પહેલાં જાગૃત સરપંચો, ગામના આગેવાનો સાથે એક બેઠક કરવાનું કર્યું અને દિયોદરના સણાવ ગામે એ બેઠક સંપન્ન થઈ.
જે ગામલોકો પોતાના ગામનું તળાવ ઊંડુ કરાવવા ઈચ્છે તે ગામના લોકોની ભાગીદારીથી તળાવો ઊંડા કરવાનું બેઠકમાં નક્કી થયું.
વળી બહુ વિસ્તારથી પાણીની ચિંતા શા માટે કરવી જોઈએ તેની પણ ચર્ચા થઈ.
આ સાથે જે તળાવો નર્મદા કેનાલ કે પાઈપલાઈનની આસપાસમાં છે તે ગામના તળાવો કેનાલના પાણીથી ભરવા માટેની રજૂઆત સરકારમાં કરવાનું પણ નક્કી થયું.
બેઠકમાં સૌ સ્વજનોને સ્વાર્થથી ઉપર ઊઠી ખરા ધરતીપુત્ર બનવા આહવાન પણ કરવામાં આવ્યું.
આશા રાખીએ આ વર્ષનું જલ અભીયાન સુંદર લોકભાગીદારીથી શરૃ અને પૂર્ણ થાય.
બનાસકાંઠો સૂક્કો પણ લોકોના મન સુક્કા નથી એ વાત પાણી અભીયાનથી આપણે સૌએ અન્યોને સાબિત કરી આપવાની છે. આશા રાખુ આખુ બનાસકાંઠા જાગે અને પાણીની પોતાના તળની ચિંતા કરે..
બેઠકમાં ઉપસ્થિત સૌ ગ્રામજનો, આગેવાન સરપંચ સૌનો આભાર..
અમારા કાર્યકર નારણ અને ઈશ્વરની ભારે જેહમતથી આ બધુયે શક્ય બન્યું..
બનાસકાંઠામાં પાણીના કામો માટે કાર્યકર નારણ રાવળ – 9099936035 અને થરાદ માટે શારદાબહેન ભાટી -9099936014 પર સંપર્ક કરવા વિનંતી.
(ખાસ નોંધ – લોકભાગીદારી ખોદકામમાં કરી શકે તેવા ગામના લોકોએ જ સંપર્ક કરવા..)
#MittalPatel #VSSM #watermanagement #waterconservation #water #concernforwater #saveearth #earth #Banaskantha #NTDNT #nomadicdenotified #Denotifiedtribes #awarenesscampaign #environment #environmentconservation