“I expect a three-fold jump in my income at the very least.”
– Kadam, a farmer from Kapsi village in Phaltan Taluka of Satara, as water gushes out from a well nearby.
This was unimaginable when our work in Kapsi started in 2003. Three consecutive years of low rainfall after 2000, decimated the agrarian economy of this small hamlet of 1250 residents.
Led by Dr Madhav Pol a renowned paedtrician from the area, our team went into Kapsi and started conducting outreach programs to boost the morale of the community. As we won their trust, the community asked us to come up with a plan for transformation. What ensued was a surreal transformation of once drought prone village to one that can now survive two years without rain.
Kapsi is today economically independent primarily because of the water harvesting work that we undertook. Agriculture there is a lot more profitable now because of assured water supply for irrigation and use of chemical free farming methods that reduce costs.
Villagers not only worked closely with us to initiate comprehensive watershed management, building toilets and smokeless chulhas but they even created a community fund to finance a portion of these activities.
How does the journey look so far?
Awarded Nirmal Gram Puraskar
in year 2007 by the government
400 acres of land
brought under Continuous Contour Trench (CCT) method of rainwater harvesting
17 Gabian structures,
3 nala bandhs and 11 underground bandharas constructed through community work
100 toilets, 100 smokeless
chulhas were constructed by working closely with the community
Trained all farmers in
Kapsi and neighbouring villages in organic farming techniques
30% of the farmers
have been practising organic farming and have reported significant improvement in their income
How did we work?
We used our outreach programs – Nav Chetna Shivir and YLTP to build strong linkages with the community. Once we were able to build community consensus, we initiated multiple projects and engaged different stakeholders – government officials, local leaders and technical experts.
What did we learn?
“It is easy to construct a toilet, but it is difficult to motivate the villagers to utilise them due to their old habit of answering nature’s call in the open.” Dr Madhav Pol.
Its incredibly important in a country like India to understand the social issues while solving the economic ones. Our efforts on building toilets were initially unsuccessful. We undertook a massive personal hygiene drive conducting over 3575 sessions across Maharshtra which brought us success eventually.
How can you contribute?
While Kapsi has developed into a model village or Nirmal Gram there are many others that are awaiting a similar transformation. You can partner with us to initiate change in a village of your choice.