Hivare Bazar: Seven golden rules of watershed development programmes

By Sarkaritel December 15, 2019 12:36

Hivare Bazar lies in the drought-prone Ahmednagar district with rainfall 250 to 350 mm. Initially in 1992, almost 90% families lived below poverty line and prior to 1989, faced migration of the villagers to urban areas, high crime rate and scarcity of water. After being selected as a potential Adarsh Gaon (Model village) under a government scheme, we initiated a project that had efforts to change people’s mindsets and emphasis on maintaining ecological balance.

Watershed development programme began in 1992 with reforestation of the hilly forest land, digging contours trenches on hill slopes, and several water conservation and management programmes such as building 52 earthen bunds, percolation tanks, 32 stone bunds and nine check dams. The groundwater table rose, and irrigated area increased, prompting farmers to switch to cash crops such as onion, potato, tomato and horticulture even when we put a restriction on high water guzzling crops such as banana and sugarcane. Depth of borewell is not permitted more than 60 feet.

Since the conception of making Hivare Bazar, an ideal village, we gave utmost status to our Gram Sabha, which through the Detailed Project Report (DPR) planned comprehensive development for village infrastructure,  watershed and provision for livelihood support.

We were firm on our Saptasutri (Seven Principles) of social discipline: Nasbandi (Family Planning), Darubandi (Ban on Alcohol), Kurhadbandi (Ban on Tree Cutting), Charaibandi (Ban on Free Grazing), Shramdaan (Voluntary Donation of Labour), Lotabandi (Ban on Open Defecation), Borewellbandi (Ban on Borewells for Farming). Today there is no BPL family and 70 families that had migrated to metros have returned.

Village calculates its own rain and does water budgeting with the help of school children and women of Sujal Mahila group, wherein, normally 100 mm rainfall runoff is reserved for drinking and household while balance runoff is for crops.

Popatrao Pawar is Sarpanch of Hivare Bazar and the Executive President of Adarsh Gaon Sankalp Va
Prakalp Samiti, district Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. He is also the executive president of Maharashtra
Adarsha Gaon Sankalp Va Prakalp Samiti.
– Popatrao Pawar

By Sarkaritel December 15, 2019 12:36