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A rich harvest

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On the right track?
Groundwater or poison?
Punjab, ready for desi solutions
Saga of tanks


CAMPAIGN

Ways to destroy
Squatters or owners?
VIPs strangling Dal
Restoring Bis Hazari
Lakes in News

WATER LITERACY

For water security
The facilitator
Let us try this out?
Water carnival


INITIATIVE

Sabdoo, surging ahead
Pioneering work
Reasserting rights
Haryana documents
Mission possible


FACE TO FACE


JAL BIRADARI

Common sense, makes sense
Unflinching faith


NEWS FROM GUJARAT

Jal bachao yatra
Checking salt ingress
Water accounting


NEWS FROM CHENNAI

Legally armed
Cultivating temple tanks
Syndicate residency’s endeavour Optimising benefits


JAL YODHAS

P K Senapati
Surinder Bansal
Shree Padree
Anil Rana
M N Mitra


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Fog collectors
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South Africa: Water apartheid
Kenya:
Drought busting
Japan: Water wizards
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A unique system
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Vol. 4   

No. 6

     December 2002-January 2003

 

An inspiring journey....

p7-4.jpg Meet Popat Pawar, an enterprising sarpanch of Hivre Bazar, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. As he takes you through a journey of struggles and tireless efforts that transformed his village from a ‘punishment village’ to the one that got Maharashtra its first National Productivity Award for the best watershed work.

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Gabian structure at Hivre Bazar

Q: How did the transformation begin?
A:
It all started in 1989, when the youth stood up for a change. About 22 liquor shops, excessive gambling and fights has ruined the respect, society, ecology and economy of the village. The drought of 1972 marked the beginning of a disaster and they wanted to end this phase. And, when they asked me to stand for sarpanch, I could not refuse.

Q: Was it a smooth ride throughout?
A:
It was not a easy journey. But we never gave up. After forming the yuva mandali, we focused on improving the educational standards. The village school was locked for two months till the state assigned us good teachers. Our first success however, was also closely followed by our first failure. We did plantation work, which was ruined by some villagers. Henceforth, we decided to do works only on demand. Our entire focus shifted to building the moral base of Hivre Bazar in accordance with the path shown by Anna Hazare.

Q: What was the impact?
A:
Once the attitude of the people changed everything started falling in place. Thanks to their diligence, in 1994 under the joint forest management program, afforestation works were taken up, successfully. Today, the village boasts of a thick forest cover, maintained by the villagers themselves. In 1995, under Adarsh Gaon Yojana, watershed works were taken. About 52 earthen bunds, two percolation tanks, 33 loose stone buds and nine checkdams were built. With increased water availability villagers have diversified without encouraging unsustained water use practices. Even the state has acknowledged our efforts by funding a training centre for the sarpanches.

Q: Why is state funding preferred for village works?
A:
It is our money and we want to use it for the purpose it has been allocated.

Q: Are you confident that the work will continue even when you are not there?
A:
For the past one year, all decisions are been taken by the people, themselves.
I am not even consulted, just updated.

(For details: Popat Pawar, Tel: 0241-68719, 68407)


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