Every year, thousands of villages in Maharashtra get affected by droughts. Experts say that the reasons for recurrent droughts include a lack of policy framework, technical knowledge and community participation as well as poor implementation of government programmes.
Until 1970, the residents of Kakaddara used to live in temporary houses made of grass. In 1981, during summer, their village caught fire and most of the houses were destroyed. “We did not have food and water. We only had few clothes to cover ourselves and we somehow managed to live. We used to go to Rohana, a village 10 km away from Kakaddara to sell radish we produced. Our condition was so pathetic that what we earned was not even enough for ourselves,” says Arun Lunksey, a resident of Kakaddara village.
Kakaddara is a small village with a population of 370 in Arvi taluka of Wardha district in Maharashtra. As per the villagers, water used to be available in their wells until about December every year after which, the wells would go dry. The landscape of Kakaddara is hilly due to which the water usually drains out. This led to water shortages.
“We did not get good production from our agricultural lands. The farmers started working on other farmlands instead of giving priority to their land," says Daulatram Ghornade, a farmer.
In 2016, Paani Foundation, an organisation working on making Maharashtra drought-free started a competition between villages to conserve water. Named Satyamev Jayate Water Cup, it was started with an objective to improve public participation in water conservation work.
The following year, 1300 villages from 30 talukas participated in the water cup competition. This video tells us the success story of Kakaddara village that won the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup.