Success Stories and Case Studies

  • The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year. The rainfall deficit is hovering around 35 percent in Punjab and Haryana and data shows that the two states have consistently registered below normal rainfall since 1998, which has put a severe strain on their groundwate...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • Toilets need a septic tank or a connection to a sewage network, enough water to clean and flush, and regular maintenance to ensure proper functioning--except if it's the 'Gramkranti Eco-Bio Toilet'. It looks just like a conventional toilet but needs none of these. Designed by someone with ...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • 356 students and the teachers of Government Middle School in Sukhpuri village of Mewat district, Haryana are a happy lot now that they have access to potable water right within their school premises. The groundwater in the area was saline making it unfit for consumption. The school childre...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • Sajan, a 14 year old Bhilala Adivasi boy studying in the Rani Kajal school in Kakrana in Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh says, "We now save a lot of time as we bathe in the bathrooms and defecate in the toilets rather than in the open fields; and so we study better". The school on the banks of ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • Chhattisgarh ranked number 1 in the country for providing domestic water connections in 2014-15 under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Despite this, the government has failed to provide safe and clean drinking water to many who are still affected by fluoride, arsenic and iron con...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • A thick smog and haze eclipse the sun all through the day when jhum areas are burnt. Jhum, known as shifting cultivation a practice practice involving the slash-and-burn of felled trees in a forest patch followed by farming, is home to India's northeast. These lands usually lie on the...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • Water sustains lives and livelihoods. It is a precious and finite resource that, in future years, is likely to become the main bone of contention between peoples, states and nations. Water – like every other finite resource – needs sustainable and equitable management, with equal focus on reduci...
    swatiposted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • “Another flood like Aila should never happen again, but if it does, we have the knowledge to start working on our soil again”, remarks Binota Munda of Nebukhali village in Hingalganj block, North 24 Parganas. Cyclone Aila that came in 2009 caused extensive damage in large parts of Indi...
    Usha Dewaniposted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • Living in the mountainsFor generations, the Ladakhi people have demonstrated how to thrive and live sustainably in one of the world’s most challenging and beautiful environments. Ladakh is a mountain desert high in the Himalayas on the barren Tibetan plateau, north of India and bordering Pakistan ...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 9 months agoread more
  • It had not rained for awhile and the tiny cracks in the earth in Bapugaon were opening up. This little village in Chaksu tehsil of Jaipur was yet again faced with a drought in the mid 1980s. The situation was aggravated in 1986 when the river Dhund, an important water source for Bapugaon, went dry. ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • In India, about Rs.70,000 crore has been invested in the Rural Water Supply sector since independence by the central and the state governments. To build rural infrastructure, Bharat Nirman, of which rural drinking water was one component, was launched by the Govern...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • Mathew Jacob, estate supervisor at Bishop Cotton School (BCS) in Shimla, remembers when he took his students walking in single file to the nearby stream to wash and bathe every other day in the summers. Today, the present lot of students take laps in the swimming pool even in the driest of...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • Over the last few months, rains--whether they flooded India enough or not--have certainly flooded the news. May brought a grim prediction by the Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan, that this year’s monsoon forecast is expected to be 88 percent of the long-term average setting off fears of ...
    sabitakaushalposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Even in the remotest village of Assam, you would often find one saying ‘paanir nisina daam’ (meaning as cheap as water) or ‘paanir nisina xorol’ (as simple as water) over a good bargain or an easy task. Water is, almost always, associated with simplicity and abundance.But those were the good...
    Usha Dewaniposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Urmila can neither walk upright, nor run about, nor do her chores easily. She is loved in her parents' house and they do not grudge her the extra care she requires. In rural India, this state of affairs does not last long for a girl, especially since she's only six years old. This is a wre...
    chicuposted 1 year 12 months agoread more
  • "Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase". - Martin Luther King, Jr. Centuries ago, this faith in the unknown might have inspired the elders in Sikkim to worship their springs. What it would yield was perhaps unfathomed then, but today it surely is evident. ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 2 years 1 week agoread more
  • There are about 227 lakes and wetlands in Sikkim, many of which are revered by the people as holy. While Gurudongmar and Keopchari are popular with the tourists, Tsomgo lake at an altitude of 12,400 ft above sea level, is perhaps Sikkim's most visited tourist spot. Tsomgo, located about 35 km f...
    Usha Dewaniposted 2 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Bandu Singh, a lean old man aged around 60, has spent his entire life living in a small mud house in Kaalapani, a small village located in Manawar block of Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh. Kaalapani has a population of 849 people of which 99.41% (as per Census 2011) are listed as belonging to Schedule...
    chicuposted 2 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • By the year 2000, farmers in Mahbubnagar, Telangana could see how risky their investments on groundwater had become. The area barely received 600 mm of annual rainfall, and just 15 percent of its area was under irrigation. This caused a crisis for both drinking water and irrigation for a s...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • I first met Kunti and Priya at a meeting of the Springs Initiative, which is a network of organisations and individuals working across India to restore their springs. Both from Kulgad village, they had come to talk about the work they had done on their spring. The officials present at that meet...
    chicuposted 2 years 1 month agoread more

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Easy access to water is one way to transform a village and help it prosper. Two Uttarakhand villages show us how.

It had been a chaotic morning. With so many people bustling around the small house, Avani was looking forward to celebrating her only son's second birthday. Graciously, her husband agreed to have the celebration at Avani’s mother’s place this time. Her mother made all the arrangements for the pooja and prasadam while Avani was to take care of the guests. Just one day at her mother's place lifted her spirits for months.

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Nipun Vinayak, Director, Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, writes about Madhya Pradesh's progress on the ground.

Ajit Tiwari, deputy commissioner, Swachh Bharat Mission, Madhya Pradesh.Ajit Tiwari is Deputy Commissioner, Swachh Bharat Mission, Madhya Pradesh. Years ago, prior to the launch of Swachh Bharat, he was working as BDO of Budhni block in Sehore district, and was exposed to CLTS training.

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When climate change threatens the existence of Sundarbans’ mangroves, villagers get together to plant millions of them to protect the fragile ecosystem.

Come monsoon, the villages in the Sundarbans islands witness nature’s fury with floodwaters overriding all boundaries and inundating huge tracts of land. As such, the earthen embankments, stretching to 3600 kms on the 54 inhabited islands out of a total of 102 in the Sundarbans, protect scores of people from floods and tidal waves. But what protects these embankments from angry tides? It’s the mangroves.

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Caught between Malguzaars and the state government, the Malguzari tanks were left to die many years ago. A lone man spearheaded their revival in 2008.

Malguzari tanks were ponds made for water harvesting by the Malguzaars, who were zamindars or tenants in eastern Vidarbha, Maharashtra two centuries ago.These tanks provided water for irrigation and also increased the availability of fish for local consumption.

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Pipara village in the parched Bundelkhand region stands out for its uninterrupted water supply. The village has their women to thank for it.

The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry. 

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Tonk Khurd’s innovative farm ponds prove that when it comes to solving water crisis, one size does not fit all

Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm.

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Mangrove plantations in coastal Odisha are not just protecting people from storms and cyclones, but also opening up new livelihood possibilities.

Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are among the most vulnerable districts affected by cyclones and climate change in coastal Odisha. In the last few decades, the coasts of Odisha have witnessed three major devastating storms. The Super Cyclone, Cyclone Phailin and the Cyclone HudHud all severely disrupted the livelihoods of communities in the region.

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Thanks to the successful implementation of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) scheme, villagers began to believe in collective action and community development.

Since India became independent in 1947, the central and state governments have introduced various rural development schemes, and have been trying to get them to converge. While this effort hasn't been as impactful on a large scale, there are some success stories. Sarda Panchayat in Sambalpur, Odisha is one.   

 

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Understanding the life cycles of vegetarian and non-vegetarian insects is key to keeping the natural balance in crop cycles. Farmers in Haryana who have studied this phenomenon, explain.

Every night, an incandescent bulb lights up the terrace room of a house in Lalitkhera village in Haryana. Insects from the adjoining pond swarm to this solitary bright spot under which Sheila Devi sits with a cup and saucer in her hand. She traps these insects one at a time to study their physical traits while other family members sleep. 

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Celebrations for World Water Day 2016 in Nagaon, Assam personify passion by honouring grassroots water-workers for their thankless efforts.

"A job isn’t just a job. It’s who you are". That quote seems to define the five people who are being honoured for their extraordinary dedication in ensuring water to the people in Nagaon and the newly declared Hojai district of Assam.

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