Beed villagers’ 45-day ‘Shramdaan Abhiyan’ - a war on water crisis

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 Apr 2018 08:39:55



The villagers are digging trenches, farm ponds,watershed structures, check dams to preserve the rain water


HUNDREDS of people from 15 villages in Maharashtra’s Beed district are braving blazing Sun to wage a war on perennial water crisis in Marathwada, one of the most arid regions of the state.

They are part of the 45-day “Shramdaan Abhiyan”, launched on April 8 by an NGO under former AAP leader Mayank Gandhi, who has adopted these villages for water conservation and preservation. The villagers are digging trenches, farm ponds, watershed structures, check dams to preserve the rain water. Dozens of excavators and earth-movers, funded by various corporates, are deepening and widening the tributaries of the “Paapnashi” river which passes through six of the selected villages. The 15 villages have collective population of 30,590. Gandhi, previously associated with the India Against Corruption movement, said he chose the particular area in Parli taluka of the district because it has the lowest irrigation. “Only 1.72 per cent of land here is under irrigation as against 16.57 pc in Maharashtra and 40 per cent in the country.

I want to empower these villages with the 360-degree development including water security, agriculture, education, sanitation and community building,” he told reporters at Mamdapur. Gandhi said the “Global Parli project” launched by him in 2016 has been acting as a catalyst. Local social worker Dr Harishchandra Wange and his team of doctors are raising awareness and motivating the villagers about the importance of storing water. “The Paani Foundation is providing technical and practical training to the villagers while corporates like Borosil, UPL, Alkem are assisting us through their CSR initiatives,” Gandhi said.

Ten out of these 15 villages have been selected to participate in the Satyamev Jayatee Water Cup competition.
The activist said he had fixed a target for all the villagers to complete the work before the arrival of the monsoon.