Nearly 70% of India’s population still lives in agrarian villages. For ages our villages had sustainable eco-systems and residents of the villages took full ownership of their water resources and environment. In the recent times however there has been dramatic shift in the scenario – over exploitation of groundwater has left water tables across the country perilously low, unscientific farming methods with overuse of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides has left the land infertile and farmers desolate.
We understand this and hence our primary priorities in this sector are to take up comprehensive watershed rejuvenation programs, and promote sustainable farming methods. Through the Jal Jagruti Abhiyan alone, we reached out to remote corners of Maharashtra. We are also running three river rejuvenation projects in Karnataka and have conducted sustainable farming workshops for over 20 lakh farmers across India.
There are multitude of challenges in projects this scale but success means not just improving the environment but reforming rural economies too. A silent revolution awaits India if we can restore its sustainable eco-systems.
“Water is now available all over. The women of our village have been saved many tedious hours of fetching water.” - Rajani Panditrao Achavale, a housewife from an erstwhile drought prone village in Latur District, Maharashtra. She fondly recounts how groundwater levels rose in her village due our watershed rejuvenation program.
Projects in Environment
WHO estimates that 97 million Indians lack access to safe water today. The root causes of India’s emerging water crisis can be found in its growing population and lack of appropriate investment in urban water treatment facilities.
Indiscriminate extraction of underground water by drilling bore wells to meet growing demands is depleting our water table reserves.
Inadequate provisions for treatment of waste water and pollution of our rivers.
Mismanagement and overuse of India's forests has resulted in deforestation, contamination, and soil erosion throughout the country.
Increasing air pollution due to unchecked emissions by industries and automobiles. According to India’s Central Pollution Control Board, in 2010, particulate matter in the air of 180 Indian cities was six times higher than WHO standards.
Estimates suggest that environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year, roughly 6% of its GDP.
Sustainable Environment is the precursor to stronger economies – that’s the primary motivation behind our interventions.
Our primary focus in this sector is to work with local communities to execute projects to rejuvenate water bodies, and harvest rainwater effectively. This is done to restore the ground water levels and make agriculture more viable.
A related intervention is aggressively promoting sustainable farming methods to ensure that land health is maintained in the long term.
The third is to reach out to community at large by running campaigns for tree plantation, cleaning up rivers and promoting eco-friendly lifestyles.
Our tree plantation drives, watershed development programs and trainings for farmers in organic methods have all been at a huge scale and the efforts continue.
Around 2.2 million trees planted from July 2008 to July 2009 as part of Mission Green earth campaign
Over 2 million farmers trained in organic farming
Multiple water bodies rejuvenated under Jal Jagruti Abhiyan in Maharashtra
River Rejuvenation projects ongoing for Vedavathi and Kumudavathi river basins in Karnataka
Ensuring that we preserve our planet for our future generations is daunting task.