We tell the villagers that we can construct medium to small size check dams in their village. We apprise them how we have built 317 check dams as of December 2018 in the highly water deprived areas, of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana with glowing results.

In the year 1998 there was a sever famine in Rajasthan.  Mrs. Amla Ruia was moved by the pitiable condition of the farmers and the abject poverty in which they were subsisting. She wanted to find a permanent solution for them & to uplift them to a new level of self sufficiency so that they could lead a life of dignity which is the birth-right of every human being. Post visiting various villages she understood that the only way to achieve her objective its to make those villages “Water Surplus” & she then initiated the activity of setting up check dams under the trust.

 





 

The time required is about 1˝ months for repairs and 2 to 3 months for new construction. Hence, if funds are provided, the jobs will be completed well before this monsoon, when God willing, our structures will be filled with water.

On an average a large structure would cost around Rs.7 to 8 lakhs of sponsor’s funds and an additional 30% of the villagers’ contribution. Sometimes structures that are strategically placed to impact 5 to 7 and more villages, the costs can be as high as Rs. 25 lakhs.

METHODOLOGY—

 

  1. First our Karyakartas connect with the local people and spread an awareness among the populace regarding the benefits of water harvesting. Our field workers are in close touch with the populace and they get involved in all their hardships. They work hand to hand with the local people and help them solve all their problems Thus, having gained their confidence, the villagers guide us through the site selection process and are involved in the decision making at every step.
     

  2. Experts with experience of at least 2000 water harvesting structures are employed to take care of the design of the structures in consultation with the villagers. Indeed, nobody can understand the topography and the nature of water better than the locals with their age-old wisdom of water harvesting.
     

  3. A meeting is held with in entire village participating in it. We tell them that we are ready to help them if they agree to help themselves. They have to contribute all the stone, water and 1/3rd in the digging and compacting of the soil. The dam consists of part masonry and part earthen bunding. The Trust provides JCB, cement, mason, all the labour-expenses for the masonry work and 2/3rd labour for the earthen work.

  1. We also lay the condition that we will only come forward if they agree to stop child marriage, dowry system, mrityu bhoj, alcohol, and tobacco.
     

  2. Once these issues are sorted out, there is no delay from our side. We tell them to immediately start collecting and bringing all the stone required for the masonry to site. As soon as the villagers comply with this, we immediately arrange for the JCB to come to site and start the foundation digging work.
     

How do we select where to work

  1.  Site selection is one of the prime criteria in this work. The following points are taken into consideration.
     

  2. It should be a some what hilly terrain where one can expect run off during the rains. preferably the hill range should act as catchments area for the check dam so that just a couple of hours of good rainfall would bring millions of liters of water to the check dam site and be able to fill the structure.
     

  3.  There should be enough spread of land which would be able to hold the accumulated water. the masonry work should be minimal so as to control expenses as well as the possibilities of cracks.
     

  4.  It should be in the heart of farmland or in the upper reaches from where there would be appreciable impact in the villages down hill. The number of people benefiting by the project should be reasonably large. The submerged area should not have too many trees which are likely to be lost because of stagnant water.
     

  5. The villagers should be ready to contribute at least 1/3rd of the total expense towards the structure. This is very important because this is what gives them a sense of ownership and makes the work sustainable because they then are ready to maintain it.

What are the difficulties faced by us

  1.  There are several problems, the most prominent is to convince the villagers for the contribution. It takes a lot of hard work, sometimes our field workers have to go from house to house to collect their part of the contribution.
     

  2. The villagers’ life is precarious and any small mishap in the family can damage the prospects of completing the project on time.
     

  3.  The check dam may have to be made over several peoples’ land-holdings who have varied views about how to construct the structure. A balance has to be found and work started with every one’s consensus.
     

  4.  There are plenty of negative energies in every village who would not like to let good work happen in any village and will take out drawbacks of every construction.

 

 


 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

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