A NEW BEGINNING

 






Forging ties

 

WATER LITERACY

Informing people
Water play
The facilitator
Water Gala

IN FOCUS
Faulty perceptions
Thirst rises, patience evaporates

URBAN WETLANDS

Eviction ordered
Join the BIG fight
Citizens pick up cudgels
Solar lakes

WATER MANAGEMENT
South India: Searching for an identity
Thailand: Then came progress....

INITIATIVE

An eye opener
Naudihi’s revival
Tankas of Badi Ghodan
Dialogue

CSE'S LATEST DESIGNS

Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s system

TECHNOLOGY

Rice husk ash filter
Clay pot irrigation

JAL YODHAS

Sachidanand Bharti
Madhu Bhatnagar

TRADITION

Naullahs of Kumaon

WATER IN NEWS

Kerala, building up its jalanidhi
Schemes or scams?

GREEN WATER HARVESTER'S NEWS

Saving lives
Rain associations
Review

CLASSROOM

Drop by drop
Water scramble

FUNDING AGENCY

Oxfam and water

BASIC FACT

3RD WATER FORUM

100 promises, deadline 2006
The landmarks
Changing currents

BOOK/DOCUMENTS

READERS SPACE

WEB INFO

EVENT


   
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Vol. 5   

No. 2

April-May 2003


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Sachidanand Bharti
Dadhutoli Lok Vikas Sansthan
Ufrakhal, Paudi Garhwal, Uttranchal

Ufrakhal village, located in the midst of Chamoli and Almora region, was once considered one of the most backward areas in India. Today, it is completely transformed. The person responsible for this change is Sachidanand Bharti. He started first by mobilising women to conserve forests. Then, his task became simple, as the villagers began to understand the need to conserve water, land and forest togther in an integrated manner.

Initial setbacks like, dying of the saplings instigated Bharti to find a solution. After discussions with the villagers, it was decided to dig small pits near the newly planted saplings to collect enough water during monsoon. The idea clicked. Today, the trees of Baas, Kaafal, Amaat, Chir, Awala amongst many other species are the most precious jewels of this forest. Next, he encouraged the villagers to dig 1,500 small pits (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 nature. The works are carried out without any external financial assistance. By simply mobilising what the community has to, or is willing to offer, Bharti has motivated even the local postmen to deliver the message of conservation and prosperity. Anupam Mishra from Gandhi Peace Foundation is his inspiration.

 



Madhu BhatnagarMadhu Bhatnagar
The Shri Ram School
D 3 Street, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 57

Head of the Environment and Value Education Department of Shri Ram School in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, Madhu Bhatnagar, has developed a student force to protect the environment. Known as ‘Green Brigade’, this club has been on the forefront of various campaigns like anti plastic drive, anti cracker drive, fighting for banning the mongoose hair for the paintbrush and promoting rainwater harvesting.

"Catch 'em young" is what she believes in — i.e., empowering the students to spread awareness amongst families and society. She adds, "The most intractable environmental problem marches towards a solution when everyday people get involved".

Under her command the school has implemented rainwater harvesting system in the complex. The roofwater is diverted through pipes to a recharge bore well. The works were completed in May 2000, and are yielding rich dividends. In the year 2002 the groundwater table has registered a rise by almost four meters. The quality of the water has also shown considerable improvement. It is also one of CSE’s five model projects.

The school is actively involved in spreading the awareness around. "We have plans to assist similar projects in municipal schools and in the ridge area, just behind our school", proudly disclosed Bhatnagar. And, for this purpose, she has also approached the chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit, to provide funds under the state’s Bhagidari scheme.



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Naullahs of Kumaon

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With the advent of piped water supply, naullahs, a traditional water harvesting system of Kumaon, Uttranchal, vanished from the lives of the local people. But the unpredictability of this modern-day facility has driven them back to their time-tested water wisdom.

In the Himalayan region, the nature of the water harvesting structures varies with water availability. Naullahs are primarily found in the most water scarce regions. They are not only well-known for their water holding capacity but for the beautiful stone carvings on the pillars and walls of the structure, as well.

Naullahs are baoli (step wells) like structures located in the downstream. Used for domestic purposes, the structure is narrow from the base and widens as one reaches the top. It is enclosed from two or three sides. The entire structure is made of stones - in such a manner that the percolating water could easily seep in and get collected. Many a times, when the source of water source is far away, channels are made to bring it in. The naullah construction requires specific knowledge and experience. Any unplanned tempering could lead to complete collapse as is visible at many places in Almora. An attempt to modernise destroyed these structures.

Generally, a mandir (place of worship) and chabutras (place to sit) are built around the naullahs. As per the customs, newly wedded couple first visit the naullah to pray for prosperity. The practice of planting trees like pipal and badh is also common — ensuring a green belt around the structure.

For details:
Ashutosh Upadhyay,
Pahar, Parikrama Talla Dhoda,
Naintal 263002
Uttranchal


Copyright 2003 Centre for Science and Environment