River Rejuvenation Project Brings Water to Drought-hit Villages in Maharashtra

Latur, Maharashtra: Most of the places in Maharashtra face drought every year. To deal with this problem, The Art of Living volunteers from Pudhakaar to Latur have taken efforts to preserve rainwater. Work on digging a canal 40 feet wide and 8 feet deep, for a distance of about 1.5 kilometers was completed on 21st March, 2015 in Kin village. This was undertaken as part of the river rejuvenation project in Tawarja and Gharni rivers.

Soon after its completion, the area experienced heavy rains, and crops in the region were damaged. However, it filled the canal and also increased the ground water level in the area, thus solving the irrigation problem. Residents of the nearby villages were happy that the water level in dry bore wells went up to 10-20 feet. Farmers now feel that digging more canals will help store more water, which will be a permanent solution, said Balaji Swami, a farmer whose bore well was filled with 20 feet water after the rains. Other farmers including Baijnath Mudhe, Nizzam Shekh, Devendra Amle and Sukhram Kulkarni also noticed a rise in the water level in their wells by up to 10 feet.

The supporting rivulets of Tawarja and Gharni have also been dug up, to ensure that the rivers have water flowing in them regularly. This has been possible due to the motivation of Sri Sri Makrand Jadhav, project coordinator, and Mahadevji Gomre, Art of Living teacher, who were part of the coordination team for Tawarja and Gharni rejuvenation. Taking a cue from the success of Art of Living’s project, the Maharashtra Government is now launching river rejuvenation projects for other rivers in the state.

Reported by: Anil Tupe