Hazare hit the headlines in May 1994 when he undertook a protest fast at the Sant Dyaneshwar temple at Alandi, Maharashtra. Earlier, the same month, he launched the Bhrastachar Virodhi Janandolan (People's movement against corruption), after having returned his Padmashree in April.
In 1998, he was hauled to court on a defamation suit filed by then Maharashtra social welfare minister Babanrao Golap. After a few days in jail, he was released following a public uproar.
He is a staunch Gandhian.
His watershed management style is as follows:
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managed by the communities in South India to mitigate water crisis in urban as well as rural areas. Vaidyanathan=92s publication, Tanks of South India, that takes an in-depth look at these issues has wide acclaim. At present, he is the chairperson of the Tamil
Nadu unit of the National Water Harvester's Network. Formerly, he held the post of chairperson, government of India, Planning Commission Committee on Irrigation Pricing (1992) and Member, government of TamilNadu, High Power Committee on
Wasteland and Watershed Development (1996) as well as Chairperson, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics. He has written books like India's Agricultural Development in a Regional Perspective, Performance of Indian agriculture since Independence in Agrarian Questions: Water and Resources Management: Institutions and Irrigation in India by Kaushik Basu (ed.).
Professor A Vaidyanathan
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The issues were taken up on a priority basis. Protection of forests is essential. The region receives about 3,500 to 4,000 mm of rain annually. The terrain is characterised by steep slopes. Dense forests are a pre-requisite for effective development of water resources. Due to these works, the overall soil moisture and vegetative cover got enhanced. Singh mobilised villagers to desilt four ponds and constructed three on the flat sloping hilltops. For more works, money was needed and it was not available. However, due to lack of basic infrastructure like roads, people are migrating.
Norphel says, "I realised that all the problems in the region were related to water. In most areas. It was scarce. In others it was being wasted."
In Ladakh, the annual average rainfall is 50 mm. The only source of water are glaciers, which melt in summer. This water reaches the villages late in the season. The locals manage this water carefully and store it for the year.
Norphel proposes that artificial glaciers be built as a substitute for dams. He believes that dams are an enormous financial burden and they bring about environmental and social hazards. Artificial glaciers are easy to build. First, Norphel channelises glacier water into a depression lying in the shadow area of a mountain, hidden from sunlight. He places half-inch-wide iron pipes at the edge of the depression. As the water keeps collecting in the pipes, it freezes. As more water seeps in, it pushes out the frozen blocks, and in turn, itself gets frozen. This keeps happening in a continuos cycle, and these frozen blocks create a clean, artificial glacier. Norphel has made four such glaciers.
In 1996, a year after retirement, Norphel joined the Leh Nutrition Project, a non-governmental organisation, as project manager for watershed development.
E R R Sadasivam is the owner of a 'tree museum' in Elur village in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. Spread over 30 ha, the museum houses over 100 species of trees and also hyenas, wild cats, jackals and peacocks. When he inherited this property in 1950, it was just a barren patch of land. It was his hard work, with the assistance of the villagers, that transformed it into what it is today. 112 villages are now enjoying the benefits of this hard work, with all the barren land being converted to woodlands, and that too, without any financial assistance. For Sadasivam, profit is not the driving force. According to him, happiness lies in making people understand the value of trees. To his peers, he is a 'national asset', and rightly so.
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In early 1980s, he travelled and experienced the conservation practices from different parts of India, enriching and strengthening this well known innovation. Working with water since 1978, Laxman Singh and the other residents formed Gram Vikas Navyuvak Mandal Laporiya (GVNML). It has renovated and constructed village tanks with people participation. For past several years, the region has been ravaged by severe drought but a visit to this village belies this reality.
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Well-planned locations and building according to the requirements were the two main reasons for the low cost of construction. Cost was further reduced as the villagers built the dams themselves.
Suvagia's wife Rasila helped him out in his work by mobilising the village women to get involved in the building of the dams. Four dams have been built in the area with the help of local women.
At present, in over 100 villages of the Saurashtra region, money is being raised to build dams. The amount of money collected ranges from Rs 1-5 lakh. Jamka village in Junagadh district is successfully carrying out the work of building check dams. The village is 1,011.7 hectares in area with a population of 3,000 and the area under cultivation is 809.4 hectares. Even though the area has one river and four rivulets, the water supply is inadequate. Moreover, with 1,200 bore wells the water level has gone down to 200 metres in the last 15 years. The villagers started constructing the dams in 1999 and so far, 51 check dams and two ponds have been built to harvest water. As a result, the water situation has improved and the farmers are able to cultivate kharif and rabi crops even during drought conditions. Mansukhbhai projects the profit as around Rs 3 crore in the years of good rainfall. This includes money from agriculture, livestock and trees used for afforestation. "It puts the government in a very bad light," says Suvagia. He is all set to spread the message to the rest of Saurashtra and has already created awareness in about 500 villages. He feels that CSE is doing a good job of spreading the message of self- help to other parts of the country.
Narayan Hazary is an ardent believer of the Panchayati Raj system. He advocates the concept of ‘village democracy’ in Kesharpur village. The list of his achievements is endless: He started a village-level school in 1954; he set up the Despran Madhusadan Library in 1957; he established Pragati Shishu Sangh, a children’s organisation; and from 1972 he spearheaded the Buddhagram Environmental Movement (BEM) to regenerate the forests. BEM was aimed at regenerating the green cover of the barren Binjagiri forest and Malati hills. The forest and the hill are finally regaining their cover. Meanwhile, Hazary teaches political science in Nagaland but remains the guiding force behind all activities in Kesharpur village.
Obensao Kikon comes from Wokha district in Nagaland. An ‘ardent jungle burner’ at one time, his stint as the chairperson of the Market Federation of Nagaland changed his outlook, and there has been no looking back ever since. His 615-ha land in Wokha is full of teak and bamboo trees. He encourages plantation of short-rotation species to help the local people meet their fuelwood demands. Besides, he also heads the Kimpvur Valley Multipurpose Cooperative Project Society comprising three villages. What is his aim in life? To enhance the living standards of the poor, he says.
His aim: to enhance the living standards of poor people.
Gupta's 'total water management strategy' entails the creation of earthen structures to store and percolate the runoff rainwater. Even five to seven cm of rainfall does not go waste. "After completing the water budget (a detailed assessment of the demand and supply of the water) of the district, it became evident that 90 per cent of the water is used for cultivation - and, most of it is groundwater. Thus, this source needs to be replenished", emphasised Gupta.
The size and kind of the structures is determined by the cost of water that they store. All the structures like earthen checks, kundis, bunds, bori bandhans, Khandwa hydraulic structures have been redesigned to meet the local requirements.
"In 2001, we started the technical training of 14,000 villagers, with the hope that at least 1,000 of them will actually implement - and, it happened. In one village, a villager diverted the access water used in animal shed to the dried bore well. After 15 days, he found out that a dry hand pump about 100 m has started yielding. The villager realised the importance of rainwater harvesting. And, we just shared such experiences to motivate others", said Gupta.
Some experiences from Khandwa.
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Working as a catalyst, the Maharaja is motivating locals to get involved and work for a better (and wetter) future instead of relying on state handouts. In return, he has received complete cooperation from the people. While expressing his gratitude, Bapji said, "In the present context maharajas no longer have wealth. I am lucky to have invaluable wealth in the form of your support and dedication to mitigate this perpetual problem." A royal water crusader, indeed.
Brig Shakti Singh
Umaid Bhavan Palace,
This year, on July 30, 2001 Rajendra Singh was conferred the Magsaysay award for community leadership. When the news reached him, he was touring Sikar, Rajasthan to do what he does best - mobilize communities to manage their water resources. On receiving the award, Singh said, "The social technique adopted by the people and TBS has been recognised with the achievement of this award. The award is for the people."
Rakesh Trivedi (50) is a multi-faceted personality. A professor of zoology, director of the eco-estate faculty of the Centre for Environmental Protection, Research and Development in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and a contributor for Nai Duniya, a Hindi daily. His obsession with trees has also earned him the title 'Tree Man of Indore'. So far, he has planted 6,000 trees in the city alone. But that's not enough. He believes he has to plant many more trees, God and 'people willing'.
Ranjit Kumar Pattnaik is a household name In Angul district of Orissa. In 1988. he went on a padyatra across 600 villages In Angul to raise awareness about the Importance of natural resources. Pattnaik established the Youth Association for Rural Reconstruction. Initially aimed at fighting against pollution of the Brahmani river by Industries. Pattnaik has also been Instrumental In forming village organisations to save forests and sanctuaries In the state.
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Roland Martins is the driving force behind Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fauz. perhaps Goa's most effective grassroots organisation. He has led many protests against unsustainable tourism projects. One of his notable campaigns has been against the government's plan to freeze a 75-80-km stretch of coastal Goa for 19 luxury hotels. The plan was eventually scrapped. Then there was Operation Cold Turkey against drug traffickers and Operation Blockalds to spread awareness about aids. Despite many successes. Martins remains a foot soldier. literally for he uses public transport and figuratively for his perusal of the mission.
Bharti's path has been illuminated by the guidance of Anupam Mishra and various community-based water harvesting initiatives going on in different parts of the country. With the support of the villagers, he started digging a series of 1,500 small pits (locally called Jal Tarais) in the forests of Gaadkhark. The impact was immediate and evidently inspiring. Today, a number a small nallahs (drains) have become perennial, which culminate into a big nallah known as Gaadganga.
Sachidanand Bharti is a media-shy person, who is working selflessly for the community and the nature. The works are carried without any external financial assistance. By simply mobilising what the community has to or is willing to offer. Bharti has motivated the locals to deliver the message of conservation and prosperity.
Dadhutoli Lok Vikas Sansthan
Paudi Garhwal, Uttranchal
While trying to find a solution, he realised that barely 30 feet away from the bore well flowed a seasonal rivulet, which had water till the month of January. This encouraged him to go in for an artificial recharge technique.
A deep trench was dug from the casing pipe to the riverbed ensuring a regular supply. Blue metal was spread around the pipe and the trench was refilled with soil. To check the inflow of leaves or other materials, a mesh was tied on the outer end of the pipe. Expenditure was not more than Rs 1,000, and the results are worth noting. The output has doubled and the bore well runs for more than six months a year.
Kadalivana, J C Pura,
Tumkur DT 572 214
Shamjibhai Jadavbhai Antala has many names - Pied Piper of Saurashtra. rainmaker. one-man army and messiah. He has accomplished the impossible in a land with a history of severe water scarcity, hostile climate and rocky topography. He has ensured that the fields remain green by teaching people the importance of rainwater harvesting. He propogated the concept of well recharging amongst the rural masses in Gujarat. He is a member of the Gujarat Ecology Commission, State Watershed Mission Advisory Committee(Govt. of Orissa) and Rajiv Gandhi Watershed Mission (Govt. of MP).
Apart from writing a weekly RWH column in the leading Kannada daily, Vijaya Karnataka, he has so far conducted more than 350 RWH slide-shows in the nooks and corners of southern Karnataka and northern Kerala. Taking information/inspiration from his writings hundreds of farmers have got success in RWH without govt subsidy and with a very low cost. Shree emphasises in-situ methods and gives importance to traditional methods as well. His persistent efforts to popularise RWH has yielded fruits. Today there are many new-comers who are spreading the awareness through the now popular Neerimgisona Banni ( Come, let us harvest water) workshops in southern Karnataka. He has written 8 books on the subject, out of which one is in English. ( Rainwater Harvesting) Padre is the convener of an informal platform for RWH , Jalakoota that documents success stories from world over and disseminates the selected ones to people. He says he would be grateful if grass-root rainharvesting activists can share their experiences,success stories & relevant photographs for him to document & spread.His favourite slogan : " If water scarcity splits people, Rainharvesting can bring them together."
It all started with Adike Patrike, a monthly newsletter launched in 1988 to give farmers a voice. Several 'writing workshops' were conducted for the interested farmers. He encouraged them to share their problems and solutions through the newsletter. Padre has also come up with the idea of 'Samruddhi', a group giving voice to those farmers who can neither read nor write. Once a month, the group organises a meet, where farmers just discuss various issues and then the dialogue is edited and published in the Patrike. In 1995, Adike Patrike started a series on the various ways in which people conserve water. "I constantly stumble upon a farmer or a householder who has devised a novel method. They are often simple but suited to the situation", says Padre. Recently, he has started sharing these stories with the CSE newsletter Catch Water as well, widening the network.
Shree is always on the look out for information on Traditional Water Conservation Systems, Community RWH successes, Success Stories of RWH , Commonmen spreading RWH awareness etc.He says he will be grateful to receive & share info on these areas.
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Phone : (08251) 647234 (R) ; (04998) 266148 (R)
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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Suresh, a regular reader of Adike Patrika, a local farm magazine, had some idea about artificial recharge. He started feeding the dry well by siphoning water from the tank during the monsoons. Positive results encouraged him to revive another farm pond to ensure sustained irrigation supply.
In Wardha, three schemes were already underway - Jalada, Sampada and Vasundhara - when Mhaiskar came on deputation. Her challenge was to consolidate and sequence the existing schemes to make water supply sustainable, by involving the community. The administration has ensured transparency at every level. The state government has applauded these initiatives, as replicable models.
advice to field operations in natural resource management enterprise
promotion and rural women's credit programs.
These days he is actively spreading the knowledge around with one message - "Sai jitna dee jiye, wame kutumb samaye" (the rain god is giving us enough water, it has to be managed intelligently), which Kedia believes can sustainably solve the water scarcity.
He has also designed a simple rain gauge, which costs only Rs 2, with a two-litre plastic bottle.
72, Pannalal Nagar
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D C Chowta
Samriddi Charitable Trust
Meenja Panchayat, PO Meeyapadavu,
Kasaragod 671 323, Kerala
Tel: 0499 - 2850251
Since 1986 he is actively involved with different crop production technologies in India. Dr. Lux has been using both locally available resources and advanced technologies to improve the productivity of crops in India. He has worked extensively on increasing soil water by rainwater harvesting. He was also instrumental in establishing agriculture training centers for farmers in collaboration with local charitable Foundations of India.
Dr Lux Lakshmanan