The Times Of India

Tuesday 25 April 2000


 Breaking News
 Indian Business
 Intl Business

 Top StoriesTop stories
across papers

 PhotoGalleryPhoto gallery
 IndiatimesIndiatimes  Cartoon



Times Cricket Ratings

Today's Chat

ET Quick Qoute

Type the name of the company to get the latest BSE/NSE stock quote

Email this page
Oasis in drought-hit Saurashtra

By Mihir Mistry

The Times of India News Service

AHMEDABAD: Three years after they had accomplished the impossible - building their own checkdams with money borrowed from the banks, - the people of Devgadh at Mendarda taluka of Junagadh are sitting pretty while the rest of Saurashtra reels under drought.

Like any other village in north Gujarat and Saurashtra, the people of Devgadh did not think twice before installing diesel sets to pump out ground water in the mid-eighties and early nineties. In a decade, the pumps ran dry.

Farm productivity plummeted and agriculture, a full-time job, became a seasonal (monsoon) occupation.

The people realised they were responsible for the situation, says Sanjay Dave of Charkha, an NGO.

For a village that did not even have a primary health centre and with just 650 odd residents, the task was enormous. However, there was no looking back.

They pooled their meagre resources and constructed four check-dams with the help of a non-governmental organisation. ``No funding, no engineering backup from the irrigation department, just hard work and a sense of co-operation,'' Dave says.

The villagers founded the Devgadh Gram Vikas Mandal and approached the block officers of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme who promised to partially fund their project.

They decided to commission two checkdams in the first year - 1996. They pooled in about Rs 45,000, deposited the money with Dena Bank and took a loan on that deposit.

Management committees, supervisory and legal committees were formed and rich farmers pledged to give water for construction. They used their clout to procure cement and bricks at low rates. The not-so-affluent farmers and their families chipped in with shram daan - free labour.

By the end of 1997, the dams were built and with the two subsequent monsoons of 1998 and 1999, they had enough water to recharge all the sub-terranean sources that had run dry. Even in 1999, although the rainfall was not very good, the dams did manage to collect some water. ``Today Devgadh is reaping the harvest,'' says Narendra Matalia of AKRSP.

While other parts of Saurashtra and north Gujarat have no water, the people of Devgadh have enough ground water. All they have to do is to re-haul their old diesel sets and start pumping again and exploit the recharged ground water reserves.

The Economic Times


AP cotton farmers back on suicide trail

Govt intensifies efforts to fight drought

Oasis in drought-hit Saurashtra

States responsible for managing calamities: Patwa

Waiting for rain with a prayer on their lips

Bihar House rocked by unprecedented violence

LF not united in facing `mahajot' challenge

Sikh families migrating from Valley

Sena activists attack hospital, assault staff

Tiger reserves show up indifference

Ghani meets Sonia; talks to continue

Security intensified in J&K following suicide attack

4 bookies held in Ahmedabad

Indo-French strategy against terrorism sought

Asserting one's identity through the mother tongue

Pearl Padamsee passes away

No threat of split in NCP, says Patel

Cable TV war hots up Bhopal

Himachal takes horticulture route to development

Sukh Ram upbeat on BJP-HVC alliance

HP teachers threaten to boycott work

New health centre at Kufri

Sharma's appointment hailed in party

Haryana to promote technical education

SAD flays Congress, indulges in self-praise

Will power tariff hike spell Chautala's doom?

Traders upset over move to amend byelaws

City fails to emerge as convention centre

City museum to have textile gallery soon

Move to recognise power of attorney

Proposal to shift Amritsar mental hospital

Inquiry ordered against senior Army officer

Left MPs oppose coal, steel privatisation

BJP allies to meet today to discuss PDS issue

PM likely to assail attacks on Christians

Fodder crisis compounded by `mysterious' disease

Five held for attack on Christians

SC upholds HC order on Bangarappa

Bhutan foreign minister's visit to boost ties



|Home| |India| |Cities| |World| |Sports| |Entertainment| |Indian Business| |Intl Business| |Stocks| |Infotech| |Health/Sci| |Editorial|

|Subscriptions| |About the Publisher| |International Times| |TOI Audience|
For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

For comments and feedback send Email
Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 2000.