RURAL DEVELOPMENT

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Today, Vanarai is working in more than 250 villages, with the purpose of making them self-reliant by mobilizing local leadership, sensitizing the community, and encouraging people’s participation through training and awareness camps. This collective effort has rendered 90,000 hectares of wasteland productive, and has united more than 1, 85, 314 villagers throughout Maharashtra. Through Vanarai’s facilitation, the rural community in Maharashtra, under the leadership of Gram Panchayats and affiliated NGOs, has planted more than 20 million plants of various species.


WATER CONSERVATION

Maharashtra is a drought-prone state, and its villages are at nature’s behest when it comes to water. Vanarai’s water conservation activities, through Vanarai Bunds, C.C.T. (Continuous Counter Trenches), C.N.B (Cement NALLA Bunds), loose boulder constructions, etc. are carried out regularly.

Vanarai bunds are innovative, cost-effective and sustainable structures, constructed easily and requiring no material except empty cement bags- which are recycled effectively in this process. They have been a huge, nation-wide success, and are used all over the country for water harvesting and conservation.

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C.C.T(CONTINUOUS COUNTER TRENCHES)

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Contour trenches are used both on hill slopes, degraded and barren waste lands for soil and moisture conservation and afforestation purposes. The trenches break the slope and reduce the velocity of surface runoff. CCT can be used in all slopes irrespective of rainfall conditions, varying soil types and depths. Trenches can be continuous or interrupted. The interrupted ones can be in series or staggered, continuous ones are used for moisture conservation in low rainfall areas and require careful layout. Contour trenches specifically help control flooding and capture water from floods. If rain event is expected to be massive, plant vegetation along the outer edge of the contour to stabilize the trenches and prevent erosion. Vanarai has been constantly carrying activities for CCT and has covered around 1539 hectares of land and conserved up to 1732.50* litres (In Crore) of water.


C.N.B(CEMENT NALLA BUND)

Maharashtra is a drought-prone state, and its villages are at nature’s behest when it comes to water. Vanarai’s water conservation activities, through Vanarai Bunds, C.C.T. (Continuous Counter Trenches), C.N.B (Cement NALLA Bunds), loose boulder constructions, etc. are carried out regularly.

Vanarai bunds are innovative, cost-effective and sustainable structures, constructed easily and requiring no material except empty cement bags- which are recycled effectively in this process. They have been a huge, nation-wide success, and are used all over the country for water harvesting and conservation.

vanarai


LOOSE BOULDER CONSTRUCTIONS

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Villagers in drought-prone regions are often compelled to pool in their funds and purchase water in tankers from private entities- a costly and difficult undertaking which they can ill afford. Vanarai’s simple and effective methods of water conservation have made several villages tanker-free and self-sufficient, liberating thousands of villagers from the economically and mentally draining task of procuring water in drought conditions.

The Government of India has awarded Vanarai the “Ground Water Augmentation Award” for adopting innovative practice of groundwater augmentation through rain water harvesting and artificial recharge.


JOINT FORESTRY MANAGEMENT

The National Wastelands Development Board of the Central Government accepted the proposal of Dr. Dharia for Joint Forestry Management (JFM) in the year 1992. Despite illegal cutting of the trees, this has resulted in bringing 17.32 million hectares under additional green cover in 1, 64, 063 villages in the country during the last thirteen years. More than 900000 (Nine Lakh) Adivasi families have been earning better incomes. Vanarai foundation has been instrumental for such policy changes and mobilizing people for implementing various programs including afforestation.

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HEALTH & SANITATION

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In recent years, after observing the alarming drop-out rate of girl students from secondary-level schools due to the lack of sanitation facilities, Vanarai has laid special emphasis on improving health and hygiene facilities in the villages. Along with conducting awareness camps, we have also constructed individual toilet structures, as well as toilets and sanitation infrastructure for high-school girls. Due to these activities, the dropout rate of school going girls has gone down from 60% to 26% in 11 villages. Moreover, the bi-annual health camps conducted in all of our villages have received a tremendous response, having reached more that 25, 000 people.


COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION

Vanarai has always believed in the tenet of self-sufficiency. We have given top priority to skill development, organizing Self Help Groups, and activities aimed to improve the economic conditions of both individuals and the village community. For this purpose, we have established 13 Vanarai Training Centres across the state, placed at strategic locations, in order to have the widest reach possible.

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ECO-CLUBS

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Children are a source of inspiration and a mine of untapped potential. Recognizing the need to instill the principles of sustainability and self-reliance in young minds, we have formed Eco-clubs in more than 1800 schools spread over Maharashtra. Nearly 1,50,000 school students are involved in nature conservation and tree plantation camps through these Eco-clubs. The annual state-wide drawing and essay competitions, along with cultural programmes and environmental skits, are a source of joy and for both Vanarai and its young companions. We continue to be inspired by the enterprise and grit displayed by our youngsters, year in and year out.


PUBLICATIONS

Vanarai publishes a monthly magazine devoted to specific subjects in the fields of environment, sustainability and rural development. It has been the recipient of many prestigious awards on national and international platforms. Vanarai magazine has received its International Standard Serial Number (ISSN 2250-1215). A special Diwali issue, published annually, is widely acknowledged by policy-makers, academics, scientists, and village communities as a value addition to Indian environmental research and literature.

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RIVERSE MIGRATION

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Reverse migration is a concept developed by our founder-President, Dr. Mohan Dharia. Based on Gandhian philosophy and core principles of economics and civic sustainability, it envisions self-reliant and flourishing villages with thriving communities, wherein individuals shall not be obliged to leave their homes in search of their rightful opportunities. More than 250 families across Maharashtra, formerly having moved to urban areas in search of employment, have returned to their homes and engaged themselves in gainful work, as a result of all the above activities. Vanarai aims, through all these activities, to shift the rural-urban power structure and create the equilibrium necessary for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.


VANARI BUNDS

‘Vanarai Bunds’ were developed by the organization from the objective of storing and conserving the water flow after the rains, by using the locally available material in rural areas. These bunds are built immediately after the rains when the water velocity is comparatively low. This water can be used for domestic, agricultural and drinking water for cattle and at the same time increases the water levels of the nearby wells, bore wells and ground water. These Bunds are extremely useful in minimizing the drought effect.

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This bund is built in the Nala or stream basin as follows. The things required for building these bunds are: Plastic Gunny bags, Soil and rope and needle to stitch. Begin by filling the gunny bags withsoil and moorum. Stitch the end. For building a Bund of around 12 mtr have around 700- 800 gunny bags filled. Before starting to build the Bund, remove stones and mud, so that water wouldn’t flow from below the Bund. Arrange the gunny bags in two parallel rows, leaving a little space in the middle. After every 2-3 layers, this Space should be filled by the soil from the surrounding area, so that no water flows from the gaps between the bags. This process has to be repeated every year, by replacing the gunny bags. The efforts are paid off because water is more easily available to us.
Every year more than three lakh Vanarai Bunds are built through Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS), People Participation and Shramdaan. A complete movement have begun through this. The work done by the school students in this movement had forced the UNICEF to take a note of the same and they had published the same on their website. This technique has been very well acknowledged and accepted throughout the country. Our beloved Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi, had implemented the same in his home state while he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. On the basis of this technique he got implemented and the local name given to them was ‘Bori Bund’.


WATERSHED PARK

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For creating the awareness about scientific watershed management amongst the students, elected representatives, Farmers, villagers etc. VANARAI in collaboration with ‘Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri’ has created a replica model of the watershed program in the premises of Agricultural College, Pune and named it as ‘Watershed Park’.

All the watershed elements like Cement Bund, Gabion Bund, Earthen Nalah Bund, Vanarai Bund, Contour Trenches, micro irrigation technics etc. are erected as models for better understanding to the general public and this creates a cognizance.There are many curious questions like how does the rainwater flow from mountain peak to foothills, how it can be obstructed using the ‘Ridge to Valley’ principle of Watershed Management, where and how does the water percolate, how is the percolated water available through Well and Bore wells, how can more and more land brought under irrigation through micro irrigation and many more. The Watershed Park is an instant and effective answer to the same. The live models help a lot as visuals make a great learning.
This has been an attraction for farmers, students, tourists and has been a proud thing for the Pune city.There are many curious questions like how does the rainwater flow from mountain peak to foothills, how it can be obstructed using the ‘Ridge to Valley’ principle of Watershed Management, where and how does the water percolate, how is the percolated water available through Well and Bore wells, how can more and more land brought under irrigation through micro irrigation and many more. The Watershed Park is an instant and effective answer to the same. The live models help a lot as visuals make a great learning.
This has been an attraction for farmers, students, tourists and has been a proud thing for the Pune city.


VANARAI CYCLE PUMP

Shri Chandrakant Pathak, Director, Modern Technical Center with help of VANARAI, Pune has developed ‘Vanarai Cycle Pump’. This pollution free pump has a capacity to pull water till 16 feet depth and push it to 25 feet height without any fuel or electricity.

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