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Vol. 3

    No. 6  

   December 2001

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Catch Water is now in Gujarat, Tamil and Hindi

Water harvesting is about people and their efforts. To reach out to a maximum number of people and to share experiences, Catch Water is being translated into different languages. The first Gujarati, Tamil and Hindi versions of the newsletter, titled Jal Sankal, Siuthuli and Jal Biradari respectively have been published.

With the publication of the Gujarati edition, water harvesters in the state have got a platform to share ideas and experiences. "Our whole life is getting ruined just because of lack of water. Forget about water for irrigation, we don’t get enough water even for drinking. We are feeling so helpless that any initiative towards solving this problem is heartily welcome." When Madhabhai Dharamshi Thakur of Dabhi village of Patan District uttered these words, it was apparent from his face that he was speaking straight from his heart. He was referring to the first issue of Jal Sankal, a newsletter from the Ahmedabad-based Disaster Mitigation Institute (DMI) recently launched at Dabhi village an publsihed jointly with CSE.

The newsletter is a Gujarati version, with additional local inputs, of the English publication, Catch Water.

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The aim of the newsletter is to increase interaction between these stakeholders. Jal Sankal also aims at sharing experiences and initiatives at the national and international level with the grassroot level communities in Gujarat.

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For Gujarati version contact:
Mihir Bhatt
Honorary Director
Disaster Mitigation Institute
411, Sakar Five
Ashram Road
Ahmedabad 380 009
Tel: 079 658 6234,
Email: dmi@icenet.net

For Tamil version contact:
J Saravanan
Networking Associate
Network c/o Rajparis Civil Constructions Ltd
Raj Court
162-B, Greams Land Thousand Lights Chennai 600006
Tel: 044 829 0038;
Email: sara2551970@yahoo.co.in

For Hindi version contact:
Eklavya Prasad
Networking Associate
Centre for Science and Environment
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area
New Delhi 110062.
Tel: 608 1124 ext: 219
Email: eklavya@cseindia.org

As the newsletter is for the community itself, it was decided to launch the first issue by the community members. Dhabhi village faces acute water shortage and is now in the process of constructing two community water tanks. The villagers have already formed a committee to supervise the construction and then maintain the tanks. They particularly liked the fact that now they have one medium through which the policy makers will come to know the problems at the grassroots level.

The first issue of Siruthuli – meaning little drop - the Tamil version of Catch Water was released in Chennai at Madras Institute of Development Studies by Shantha Sheela Nair secretary of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply. Nair informed about Chenai’s experiences in promoting rainwater harvesting for groundwater recharge in Chennai. "The concept did not really pick up because immediate benefits were not visible to the people. We then started recommending that the rooftop water can be diverted to sumps through filtering chamber and the excess to wells and recharge structures. The moment people saw just one night’s rain filling up their sumps, it created a tremendous impact and a surge in rainwater harvesting implementation."

Chennai is one of the leading towns to promote and implement rainwater harvesting. The Tamil translation is being undertaken by the Tamil Nadu unit of the National Water Harvesters’ Network, the committee members of which have done tremendous work in promoting rainwater harvesting at their individual levels.

The Hindi version is being published by CSE.


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