The participatory water management works have allowed me to meet and interact with numerous Sarpanchs, while some sarpanches portrayed appalling attitude there was Sarpanch like that of Lavana who assured there was hope for a better future.
Shri Ramabhai Rajput is a proactive sarpanch of Lavana. Equally enthusiastic is Shri T. P Rajput, a BJP leader from Banaskantha. I happened to meet both these selfless humans recently while I was in the region to monitor the lake deepening works and evaluate the places identified for tree plantation program for this year. There is not a single widow or dependent in the village who has not received the benefits of appropriate Government schemes. Ramabhai has ensured that their forms are filled and applications processed to positive conclusions.
અમારા ગોમમોં તળાવો ગાળો બેન, હારમ હારો સહકાર અમે ગોમના આલશ્….’
How long can one survive without air? A few seconds maybe !! And without water? Maybe for a few hours! And yet we undervalue both these resources.
We save money, to help us sustain during a crisis or special needs. I reckon all of you would agree if I claimed that our underground water reserves are like our savings. Meaning they have to be reached out for only in case of dire need and stop drawing from these reserves once we have other options available. However, we have failed to do that. We kept using our groundwater reserves without responsibly giving back what was taken from nature’s reserves. Despite crippling water crisis, we have never felt the need to save water. Rainwater is the only source of fresh water and we have not considered it necessary to catch and conserve it. According to a study by 2080, we shall run out of drinking water. It is time we wake up to the looming crisis. Water is the biggest threat there is.
I am grateful for the insights of our respected Rashminbhai, who made us pay attention to the water crisis and pushed me into working on the issue. It should be noted that the entire water conservation initiative functions under the guidance of Shri Rashminbhai. If we do not act now ‘WATER-WATER EVERYWHERE, NOT A DROP TO DRINK’ will soon be a reality.
Yes, the COVID19 pandemic has brought life to a standstill, for a very long time it will be safe to stay at home. However, as they say, life must go on and we will have to begin working soon. The cycle of nature does not wait for anything, it keeps changing.
Lake deepening works have begun in Khorda and Rajkot villages of Banaskantha’s Tharad. VSSM works in partnership with the government and village.
ઘરમાં રહીએ સુરક્ષીત રહીએ એ સાચુ પણ કામ તો કરવું પડશે ને?
કુદરત તો એના નિત્યક્રમ પ્રમાણે ચાલવાની જ.. એ કોઈની રાહ જોઈને નથી બેસતી..
આગામી એકાદ દોઢ મહિનામાં વરસાદ પડવાનો. પાણીનું સંકટ પણ માથે છે જ ખાલી એના સમાચાર અત્યારે કોરાનાની મોટી બૂમના કારણે સંભળાતા નથી.
પાણી બચાવવાની અમારી ઝૂંબેશના ભાગરૃપે બનાસકાંઠામાં તળાવ ગળાવવાની અમારી ઝૂંબેશ અત્યારે તો પૂર બહાર શરૃ થઈ ગઈ હોત પણ કોરોનાએ આ વખતે જરા બ્રેક મારી..
VSSMની મજબૂત ટીમે તળાવોના કામ ઝટ આરંભીએ એવી ભાવના વ્યક્ત કરી. ડર્યા વગર રાશનકીટનું વિતરણ તો એમણે કર્યું હવે પોતાના ઘરથી છેટે કોઈ બીજા ગામમાં સુખ સુવિધાઓ વગર રહીને તળાવોના કામ કરવા બધા તૈયાર હતા.
ગામલોકો સાથે તળાવો ગળાવવા બાબતે વાત કરી અને એ લોકો પણ તળાવો ગળાય તો ટ્રેક્ટર આપવાની સહમતી આપી.
સરકારે શરૃ કરેલા સુજલામ સુફલામ યોજના અંતર્ગત તળાવો ગાળવામાં સરકારનો સહયોગ મળે તે માટે કલેક્ટર શ્રીને વિનંતી કરી અને બધુ સમુ સુતરુ ગોઠવાયું.
બનાસકાંઠાના થરાદના ખોરડા અને રાજકોટગામમાં તળાવો ઊંડા કરવાના કામો શરૃ કર્યા.
સરકાર, VSSM અને ગામની ભાગીદારીથી તળાવો ઊંડા કરવાનું શરૃ કર્યું છે… જે ફોટોમાં જોઈ શકાય છે.
પાણી સમગ્ર જીવસૃષ્ટિ માટે જરૃરી.. કુદરતને પણ સમગ્ર જીવ સૃષ્ટિ માટે થઈ રહેલા આ કાર્યને લઈને રાજી થશે….
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!!!