Gujarat Tribal Development
|In Kutch & Saurashtra during summer, rivers go dry. People are awfully affected by water scarcity. They dig the soil on the river bank for water. Underground water in the small holes is then collected with a small bowl. These holes are called “Veerda” in Gujarati.
The water quantity is small. Hence very soon the Veerda goes dry. Then it takes few hours or even whole night to get filled in again.
|You can see that the hole has gone almost six feet deep. The lady is wholly inside the Veerda. In their search for water, the poor ladies go deeper & deeper.|
|These ladies in Kutch would walk several kilometres every day to fetch some water.
In Dharampur, the case is worse the ladies have to climb up the mountain for fetching water.
Try imagining ourselves carrying a pot of water and climbing up three stairs in our building. We will find it difficult. But these ladies have to climb up a few kilometers!
|This is the state of Indian tribal poor in the forest of Dharampur. Photograph taken in the year 2000.
Photographer – Rashmin Sanghvi.
|The best way to alleviate poverty is to give them self employment in their own villages. Agriculture gives the best ratio of investment to employment. For better agriculture, we need water management. If the people participate in water management, we get best results. Hence we organise this kind of meetings with the villagers and explain them the concepts of water management, check dams, wells etc.|
|Some of the donors sitting on the check dam newly built in Dharampur.
|This series of three dams built in the year 2001 was the first water management project inspired by Vedchhi Pradesh Seva Samiti in Dharampur. It was a mistake constructing three dams so close to each other. And yet, it did give substantial benefits to the farmers across the road under the dams. (The dams are built on the slope of a mountain. Then there is a road. On the other side of the road, on the lower slopes, there are farms.)|
|This is one small dam. Even such small dams help by allowing the water to percolate.|
|This is another dam.|
|All dams are built by stone & soil. No cement, concrete work. The men dig the soil from the mountains. Women carry the load to the site of the dam. These young girls should be in the school or in the playground. Some day, it will happen.|
|The topography of this dam permits a larger lake behind the dam. For calculating the measurements of digging, they have left this kind of structure.|
|This is a large dam. (Large with reference to Dharampur. By the normal standards, all these are small gully plugs.)
The dam is being covered by IPCL plastic to prevent water leakages.
|Bombay Rotary Club donors inspecting the site of a dam. Year 2003.|
|Come monsoon & the dam is full of water.|
|The dam supplies drinking water to animals. Percolated water goes to wells which supply drinking water for human beings.
During the monsoon, water is also used for agriculture – irrigation.
|This is a small canal built to guide the water over flowing from a dam. With such inexpensive methods, they take water to a distance of almost a kilometer. Gravity is the only force used.|
|The result of the irrigation is good crop and the happy farmer.
The couple is posing specially for the photograph. This is not their normal dress.