April 30th, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Water woes a thing of past for 12 villages in Thar
JAISALMER: Situated 80 km away from Jaisalmer district headquarters, 12 villages in the Thar region are busy scripting a success story.
With the help of NGO Sambhav, the villagers repaired 500-year-old 'baoris' or stepwells near Diprasar pond, some 10 km from the Ramgarh area. The hard work of the villagers has paid off and their water woes are now a thing of past.
Despite an annual rainfall that lasts for barely 8-10 days, the pond remains filled with water for 5-6 months, while the stepwells constructed around it can now retain water throughout the year.
Chatur Singh, a resident of Ramgarh who also works with the NGO, said the search for a 'suitable' site for constructing 'baoris' started over a year ago. That was when the villagers stumbled upon old 'baoris' near Ramgarh behind Netsi village. According to Singh, these stepwells were constructed nearly 500 years ago to save water as the region was affected by droughts, year after year.
However, these were in a decrepit condition. The villagers repaired these, besides constructing new stepwells. In a short span, migratory birds started visiting the pond, which also provides water for cattle. After some time, the height of the baoris was increased by two feet and the mud walls were turned into concrete.
The water in the stepwells is replenished at night owing to impressive underground water level in the area. Each village draws water from two 'baoris', which are 24 in number. These villages are Hamo, Natesi, Eklapar, Dablapar, Naval Singh ki Dhani, Ramgarh, Joga, Bhojraj Singh ki Dhani, Saueva, Ragwa and Miyaji ki Dhani. Each village has two barriers and villagers take water from their barriers. Although, there is no ban on taking water from anybarries, but still villagers take water from their barries.
Due to timely maintenance of these barriers, they are still working. The water in the pond remains for 7-8 months. The pond being very big, migratory birds come here during winters and thousands of cattle quench their thirst in this pond. Chatur Singh said with the hard work of villagers and help of his NGO, some time ago these water barriers were made pucca and the level was increased by two feet.
Villagers of 10-12 villages got the Diprasar pond constructed and dug around 2 dozen barriers.
Despite the fact that it rains only for 8-10 days in Thar desert during the entire year, there is no shortage of water. The villagers have learnt to conserve each and every drop of water and water conservation is in their blood. The water barriers near the pond are full even today. The rain water last for 5-6 months in ponds, while in these water barriers never go dry, but the condition is that from time to time, these water barriers should be dug and repaired. The commendable work done by villagers in the field of water conservation at Netsi village situated 80kms away from Jaisalmer district headquarters, has become an example.
Rajasthan|पधारो म्हारे देस...
"You are what your deep, driving desire is
As your desire is, so is your will
As your will is, so is your deed
As your deed is, so is your destiny"