With drought being the ultimate jeopardy of India, water conservation is definitely a needed endeavor. It’s very important to inculcate the idea of conserving drop by drop for sustainable development and manifestation of a better livelihood. It’s quite catastrophic to know that more than 330 million farmers, hailing from different regions of India, are treacherously suffering from water shortage, eventually leading to enormous burgeoning in farmer suicides, often just a statistics in news media. So, how do we start? Well, if that’s what is haunting your soul, begin with one drop at a time, just like these little stories mentioned below.
- A child can make a difference: When entrepreneurs like Yusuf Soni and Vedant Goel first started teaching the primary school students in Pune regarding water conservation, they had no idea how far the leap of faith would last. Nevertheless, they kept trying, pushing hard to teach young minds how even preserving a bottle of water is more than enough. A bottle of water after a thirsty day at school, if left untouched can be collected in large drums at the school entrance. The gesture of helping out someone else in need was more important in this phenomenon. Today, this endeavor has stretched to several schools in Pune, triumphantly.
- A woman’s irresistible might: Well, in villages of Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, rural women challenged the entire idea of being victimized by water scarcity. As we know, women in rural outskirts of India are often spotted carrying 20-40 litres of water for daily necessities, without even thinking about the physical injury. But then, this entire culture was changed, quite drastically when few rural women in Kerala took up the herculean task of digging 100 bore wells in less than 50 days. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
- The man who created rural lakes: Ayyappa Masagi, a mechanical engineer from Karnataka who had more than 23 years of experience working in an MNC, created a massive change. Right from his very childhood years, he knew how difficult it was for him to fetch water. Thus, this thought which had always been preserved in his mind, encouraged him to do the unthinkable. He has created more than 600 artificial lakes in the rural outskirts of South India, an effort for which he is recognized in the Limca Book of Records too.
- A farm pond, a drastic difference: Dewas, a parched terrain located in Madhya Pradesh suffered from the agony of water scarcity for years. But eventually, the farmers gathered together, took the initiative to construct small farm ponds in their respective areas with the help of tractors, without a single penny investment from the government’s side. The United Nations has also selected the example of Dewas as one of the few intriguing ideas for rain water harvesting in 2012.
- Shared ground water harvesting: Farmers in Anantapur in Karnataka realized that if they had to grow water intensive crops in their region, they really need to fight against the depleting ground water reservoir. Over the past few years, the farmers have worked hard on constructing outlets and pipelines so that they can harness the ground water judiciously and now they opt for sharing it with each other.
Well, in all these stories, the very idea of community participation for conserving water plays an integral role. And definitely, each of these endeavors have had a path-breaking result, drop by drop.
By- Shubhda Chaudhary