Jal Jagruti Abhiyan – Save Water, Save Life
They say the third World War will be fought for water. This is not an exaggeration.
Clean, potable, drinking water is dropping at an alarming rate. The onward march of mankind has hardly any time or consideration to ensure the basic tenets (on which this planet survives) are being taken care of.
23% of the world’s rivers have dried up since the year 2000, and 13% of the planet’s arable land is now desert land since the year 2000. At this rate, if unchecked, we are looking at a desert planet by the year 2050.
This impacts entire ecology of our planet. In a recent research published by Netherland Institute of Ecology, No. of trees have been reduced to half, reduction in water reduced life span of existing trees and reduced the survival % of newly planted trees adding further reduction in Rain Waterfall.
The Why – Why the need for the Jal Jagruti Abhiyan
Specifically for India, unpredictability of monsoons, regular droughts and high water table depletion is making farming increasingly unprofitable. More and more farmers’ children are deserting their villages and swarming into urban areas to earn a better living, seeing no reason to stay back. The farmers themselves, who cannot move to the cities, are committing suicide. Those who do not take this step are nonetheless bitter and have a thoroughly negative bent of mind towards progress making it difficult to come out of their predicament.
The How – How is the Jal Jagruti Abhiyan (JJA) team able to help
- Our vision is to revive and rejuvenate rivers and water streams and also to help farmers become self-sustainable and eradicate farmer’s suicide.
- Our modus operandi is that we involve the villagers and farmers in whatever we do. We share costs, responsibilities, and above all, vision. This brings ownership and eventually, pride. A major roadblock to the previous attempts to solve the water crisis in India has been identified as the lack of people participation. We address this right at the outset of any JJA project through education, transparency, and involvement
- The JJA team shape the planning of the village in such a way that there is sustainable, long-term water availability for people, animals, and crops
- Rejuvenating rivers and water streams, construction of various types of dams, recharging shafts, tree plantation, improving agriculture through the use of desilted soil, and increasing water percolation are some of the methods we use. Moreover, since we work in sync with villagers, they learn the techniques as well and can easily replicate them later
- Several rivers that had dried up for decades have been revived with very little economic investments
- Model villages have been created in districts so that farmers from neighboring villages can also see the effectiveness of these simple techniques
The What – Benefits
- Villages that we work in have seen a dramatic drop in farmer suicides
- More than 10 river/water stream rejuvenation projects completed and 13 in progress. Each of these projects have been completed jointly with the help of villagers and Art of Living Foundation (artofliving.org) in association with International Association of Human Values (IAHV) (www.iahv.org)
- Since our goal is the wholesome development of villages, we also integrate modules of zero-budget organic farming, women empowerment, youth skills development, and health workshops into any JJA project.
- Improving water table re-charge by increasing water percolation with river/ water streams /tank de-silt.
- Below is a pictograph of TAVARJA RIVER Project executed at Latur (drought affected area in Marathwada region):