Lakshiwas village is in Anantpura gram panchayat, Behror block, in district Alwar, Rajasthan. 140 families live here, and almost all of them are farmers. This village is close to two small hills, from where rainwater flowed into the village during the monsoon season. Not only was this water wasted, it also flooded the nearby agricultural fields, spoiling the crops, and stagnated further on in the village streets caused much inconvenience.
The CSR-supported development project implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation began its initiative in Lakshiwas in January 2019. In February 2019, the project team met with the gram panchayat and community members of Lakshiwas with a proposal to build a pond across the route of the water flowing from the hills, in order to arrest it so that it would be used to recharge the groundwater and prevent the other inconveniences. The people enthusiastically agreed as they are well aware of the depleting groundwater. The community contributed INR 42,210 for the future sustainability of the pond after the project team left the village.
The construction of the pond with earthen embankments began in March 2019, and was completed in April 2019. It has a water-holding capacity of 14 million liters. Due to its establishment, now all the rainwater from the hills is collected in the pond, and the damage caused to the nearby crops has stopped. This water has stopped being wasted as it is being percolated into the ground, contributing to groundwater table. The two dry wells near the pond now have some water. Livestock, wild animals, and birds are also using the pond.
With the advice of the project team, but on their own initiative, the progressive people of the village have planted trees and grass around the pond to stabilize its banks from being damaged due to erosion. It has also become a scenic spot for the villagers to relax here. The village’s sarpanch, Suresh Bhedi, says, “The establishment of the pond by the project’s team in Lakshiwas is commendable indeed. It conserves water, which we all need to do. We thank the project team for this initiative, to benefit us.”
Author: Rahul Kumar Gupta
(Rahul is field assistant in Alwar, Rajasthan)