The river runs deep
By Sweta Nayal

The watershed project has brought in many changes in the villages of Malla (Lower Hill) and Talla (Upper Hill) in Satinaugaon, the most important being the revitalization of the hitherto stagnating local economy.

The Gagas River is the only source of water for the villages of Malla and Talla. Over the years, the river started drying up and the village was looking at long term water scarcity. The villagers took up initiatives to set up watershed committees that started working on restoring the river and increasing the ground water levels.

The villagers undertook extensive forestation activities where 2 lakh trees were planted over a period of 3 years on the common land. Now there are check-dams, percolation pits, recharge pits, handpumps and naulas that check soil erosion and promote water infiltration.

Self Help Groups, Mahila Umangs and Village Development Committees that have brought the women together. The women now manage the finances as well as undertake vocations such as knitting, jam making, jelly and chutney which they sell to the local NGOs.

The village is no longer facing a water shortage.

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