Success Stories and Case Studies

Forgotten water bearers of Guwahati
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. Posted on 19 Sep, 2016 06:04 PM

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.

Jorpukhuri near Ugratara temple.
Saving the catchment area
The Somb-Thapana catchment is a stark contrast to the polluted Yamuna. Knowledge from the Thames and the local communities revived the water. Posted on 07 Sep, 2016 09:39 PM

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.

Thapana stream in Mandoli village shows dense vegetation in riparian zone and fish flocking the stream.
Water brings two villages alive
Easy access to water is one way to transform a village and help it prosper. Two Uttarakhand villages show us how. Posted on 07 Sep, 2016 11:23 AM

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.

Dangsari village in Uttarakhand.
Notes from Swachh Madhya Pradesh campaign
Nipun Vinayak, Director, Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, writes about Madhya Pradesh's progress on the ground. Posted on 21 Aug, 2016 09:56 PM

Ajit Tiwari, deputy commissioner, Swachh Bharat Mission, Madhya Pradesh.Ajit Tiwari is Deputy Commissioner, Swachh Bharat Mission, Madhy

Sudam Khade, collector, Sehore, felicitates a woman from the community for their efforts in ending open defecation.
Community effort saves mangroves
When climate change threatens the existence of Sundarbans’ mangroves, villagers get together to plant millions of them to protect the fragile ecosystem. Posted on 04 Aug, 2016 09:52 AM

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.

Mangroves of Sundarbans. (Source: Nature Environment & Wildlife Society - NEWS)
Rejuvenating traditional water system in Maharashtra
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. Posted on 02 Aug, 2016 09:44 AM

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.

Janbhora Malguzari tank in Bhandara
Pipara women realise pipe dream
Pipara village in the parched Bundelkhand region stands out for its uninterrupted water supply. The village has their women to thank for it. Posted on 01 Jul, 2016 12:03 PM

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. 

Women fill water from one of the taps at Pipara.
Farm ponds save village from drought
Tonk Khurd’s innovative farm ponds prove that when it comes to solving water crisis, one size does not fit all. Posted on 21 Jun, 2016 09:09 AM

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.

Vikram Patel near his farm pond in Chidavad.
Mangrove nurseries protect coasts and livelihoods
Mangrove plantations in coastal Odisha are not just protecting people from storms and cyclones, but also opening up new livelihood possibilities. Posted on 13 May, 2016 01:40 PM

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.

Mangrove Nursery at Naupal ( Source: Regional Centre For Development Cooperation)
Government schemes converge at Sarda Panchayat in Sambalpur, Odisha
Thanks to the successful implementation of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) scheme, villagers began to believe in collective action and community development. Posted on 24 Apr, 2016 11:41 AM

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.   

View of Sarda village, Odisha