Our country is Diverse, diverse in it’s cultures, it’s festivals and even in it’s climate. All the seasons have different intensities across the country. In few parts it is mild and in few it’s severe, the story remains the same for rainfall as well. This situation creates a lot of problems for many villages, states as well as cities since agriculture is the main occupation in India. According to facts India is facing 10 times more floods and 8 times more drought than it faced seventy years ago. Same was the story of Sangvi village in Jalgaon district until river rejuvenation took place with the help of Art of Living and other residents in the village.
It all started with a sankalpa of Yuvachrya Deepak Choudhary who wanted to do something for his village for which he further contacted Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP) teacher, Madhav Gavai under whose guidance he carried out this program of River Rejuvenation. Before initiating the program YLTP, course was conducted in the village followed with Satsangs all over the village. Road shows, acts and small skits were performed in order to create awareness amongst people about river rejuvenation, as a result many youngsters came forward. Besides that another initiative was taken named ‘Helping Hands’, wherein many residents came forward to donate clothes to the needy. More and more people started joining the cause, especially youngsters. That’s when Madhav Gavai came up with “Paani Adva; Paani Jirva” an initiative for bringing back the groundwater levels to base level which will further help in various activities of farming.
A meeting was held for the same where they got positive response from all the villagers for the river rejuvenation cause. Around 100 people showed up for building bandharas as a part of kshramadaan through which 3 bandharas were built. These efforts were acknowledged by many local newspapers attracting and inspiring more people to support the cause. Further Mr. Gavai suggested using modern equipment like porcelain and jcb so that the work can be completed at a faster pace and in a lesser span of time. Many people from the village who had migrated to cities for better jobs also contributed monetarily for the cause, resulting in collection of around 6-7 lakh of rupees. The money was utilized in building 10 bandharas and ploughing 6 acres in two rivers around the Sangvi village. Also tree plantation was done with the same funds wherein the trees planted had a height of 12-15 ft ensuring that they absorb large amounts of water. These activities grabbed many eyeballs on social media resulting in appreciation from all over the country. It also helped in inspiring many such drought ridden villages and districts to take up the cause.
The farmers in Sangvi village are experiencing significant changes in their farms, the crops are not getting affected in spite of less rainfall. Even now in winter season they are not facing any sort of water scarcity. The natural cycle has been re-established, there’s a convincing change in the local climate. Lush green, fertile and productive lands can be seen throughout the village. When people come together as a group with a feeling of unity and empathy, we can do wonders. Water harvesting is a challenge but facing the challenge with a group of community makes it a lot of easier.
– Aditi N