Success Stories and Case Studies

  • 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 2 years 7 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 2 years 8 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 2 years 8 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 2 years 8 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 2 years 9 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 2 years 9 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 2 years 10 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 10 months 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 10 months 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 10 months 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 10 months 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 11 months agoread more
  • Chedua Bedia is a 47-year-old marginal farmer from Dubulabeda village, Angara block of Ranchi district. In addition to being a successful farmer, Chedua has founded a school and motivates other farmers from his village to attend classes! This is a special school called the Farmers Field School where...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • World Water Day 2015 proved to be significant to the people of Meghalaya. That day is when the state's Springshed Management Initiative was launched. The Chief Secretary, PBO Warjri said that the people of Shillong have traditionally depended on springs but in recent years, land use changes and...
    chicuposted 3 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Amulya Soren couldn’t get stable yields in the kharif (monsoon) paddy in his farm. A member of the Santhal tribe, he was the beneficiary of a surplus land redistribution programme in Hirbandh block of Bankura, West Bengal. The undulating terrain in which his farm lies receives sufficient rain...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Vanajakshi, a 21 year old girl from Gondipakalu in Chintapalle Mandal, Andhra Pradesh, recalls that, growing up, she was often late to school. It wasn’t because she was having trouble waking up. It was because she had to accompany her mother to fetch water, and that took up around 2.5 hours every ...
    Divya Nposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Women in bright, colourful clothes carrying pots on their heads -- this is how popular media often depicts the women of rural Rajasthan. This is what I expected to see in the Bakhasar region of Barmer district, which borders the famous salt desert, the Rann of Kutch. The groundwater is often sa...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Santosh Gavale, a resident of Manyali village in Umarkhed tehsil of Yavatmal district, is a happy man now. The village, which has faced an increasing water crisis over the years, is now water sufficient because it manages its water resources well and shares it equitably. Santosh managed to do this f...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Muneswar and more than 170 farmers in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh have no regrets after shifting over from traditional agricultural methods of farming to the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method. Why would they? Most of them have been overwhelmed by the kind of returns they have got compared...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • The Bhuiyas, a group of people who belong to the Scheduled Castes in Jharkhand and Bihar, have historically been landless foragers -- a fact reflected in their name which means 'of the earth'. During the Bhoodaan movement, a group of Bhuiyas received a small amount of land on the Chhota Nagpur plate...
    chicuposted 3 years 3 months agoread more

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Most of the ponds in Guwahati are in a sorry state now. They need to be preserved, not just as heritage sites, but also as drinking water providers and collectors of surface runoff.

Guwahati, one of the fastest growing cities in India, is thousands of years old. Once known as Pragjyotishpura or the city of eastern light, Guwahati has many ancient stories attached to it. This beautiful city finds mention in epics such as Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas.

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The Somb-Thapana catchment is a stark contrast to the polluted Yamuna. Knowledge from the Thames and the local communities revived the water.

River Yamuna, the largest tributary of river Ganga, is the most threatened river system in the country. It faces over abstraction of water and increasing pollution load (municipal and industrial) throughout its course. The river has no worthwhile perennial tributary along its most threatened 600km stretch--from Hathnikund (Haryana) to Etawah (Uttar Pradesh)--where it is revived after meeting with river Chambal. The Somb-Thapana catchment is a tributary feeding the Yamuna.

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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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