Manisha Shah

Skilling and engaging first mile actors to enable local water management: Context, opportunities, and engagement possibilities
Based on conversations with Dr Tushaar Shah and Mr Ved Arya Amita Bhaduri posted 4 weeks ago

Every year, programs of central and state governments and donor-supported programs train thousands of people who work to implement programs on water and sanitation in their villages.

There is an urgency to create a database of such skilled persons and engage them in future programs or on a long-term basis through different engagement models. (Image: ForWater Partners)
Strengthening the frontline for water security
Challenges and aspirations of community champions and how programs can address them Amita Bhaduri posted 2 months ago

India has over 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats, which manage the governance of over 6,64,000 villages spread across the country.

Kalyani Dash works with 150 households in the village directly and trains them on chemical-free farming techniques, water secure crop production, efficient water use in agriculture for a sustainable farming future as well as kitchen and nutrition gardening. (Image: FES)
Data, data everywhere, but where?
Involving the community in a data framework with the right incentives will have the second-order benefit of the community becoming decision makers with respect to water use. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 4 weeks ago

A few of us did an exercise where we closed our eyes and thought of the first four words that came to our minds when we thought of water data in India. Here is what we came up with:

The seamless flow of data from one program to another can be enabled if a few principles are kept in mind (Image: José Manuel Suárez, Wikimedia Commons)
Data-driven ‘water and agriculture’ planning: The big picture
If data was better organized and available for download in more ‘user-friendly’ formats, its utilization would improve manifold. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months ago

India is fortunate to have a rich tradition of public data collection and compilation.

The quality of our public data is highly variable, yet if analyses and interpretation are done keeping in mind some of the limitations, the datasets can be a precious resource at the meso and macro level. (Image: Pixabay)
Understanding Atal Bhujal Yojana through the program guidelines
The program envisages promoting panchayat led groundwater management and behavioural change with a primary focus on demand-side management. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months ago

Groundwater fulfills the drinking water requirements of nearly 85% and 50% of the rural and urban Indian population, respectively. 65% of the total irrigated area utilizes groundwater. It also caters to the water needs of the industrial sector in India.

Community participation is expected to facilitate bottom-up groundwater planning process to improve the effectiveness of public financing and align implementation of various government programs on groundwater in the participating states (Image: Water Alternatives, Flickr Commons)
Technology to build knowledge and capacities beyond COVID
The time has come to utilize technology to build resilience of communities by training them to strive for better livelihood opportunities where they want to. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months 3 weeks ago

The COVID-19 crisis has brought the world to a standstill. Government, civil society and volunteers are rallying to ensure that social and economic inequalities do not dictate how this crisis draws lines between the “haves” and “have-nots”. Nonetheless, the crisis seems to have deepened the existing divide.

Bringing the digital revolution to the hands of real India (Image: CXOToday.com)
Building resilience of communities during and beyond Covid-19
Interventions that increase dependencies and use of local resources to resolve challenges locally can help increase resilience of farmers. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed multiple challenges in different geographies, especially for the vulnerable groups living in areas that already have existing issues of water and food security.

People were following social distancing in villages while collecting water (Image: INREM)
In conversation with Rohini Nilekani: Water, societal platform thinking and COVID-19 response
We are in conversation with Ms. Rohini Nilekani, a committed philanthropist, author and social activist. She founded Arghyam almost two decades ago and has been a key ideator in the water sector. Swati Bansal posted 1 year ago

Listen to the interview here:

Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam
Springing back to life
Jal Jeevan Mission can go a long way to promote springshed management and ensure source sustainability of spring based piped water supply. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

Springs are the key source of water for rural households in Uttarakhand, yet they have seen an overall neglect over the decades with discharge from many springs declining bit by bit. The depletion of aquifers, changes in land use and ecological degradation have led to several initiatives to address springshed management in the state. We speak to Dr.

Image: Flickr Commons
WASH in the times of COVID-19
Government of Maharashtra and UNICEF Mumbai are training frontline workers to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

Maharashtra has the highest COVID-19 cases in the country and the government is taking a slew of measures to flatten the curve. We speak to Mr.

Students handwashing with soap (Image: World Bank, Flickr Commons; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)