Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Mumbai: 71 years old lady named Amla Ruia fought against droughts which affected nearly 300 million people in India, according to the survey report presented on December 12, 2017. She courageously forefront to build dam and fight against severe water shortage.

The report declared her as a dam-grandmother.

According to the report, in recent years when the monsoon rains have been disappointing the government has been forced to deliver water to farms and villages by trains and tankers.

“People have died from dehydration because of the distance they had to travel in order to get to the nearest well.

“The trust works with local communities to find parts of the landscape that can capture water, like a reservoir.”

The report added, “Instead of building man-made reservoirs from scratch, they use the natural contours of the hilly landscape, building slopes, and shoring up spaces, to catch and keep water in these semi-natural basins or check dams.

“When the monsoon comes, the check dams fill up and replenish the water table which has dangerously degraded over time. The aquifers and wells near the villages retain the water for the dry season.”

Mrs. Ruia said, “This is not a new solution; this was practiced by our ancestors,

“The villagers were not ready to believe in us. They thought we had some ulterior motive.”

She told, “I told my husband once that I will continue to look after my check dams till I am 90. He said ‘what will you do for the next 30 years? You are going to continue to work until you are 120’.”

“The structures we make have a concrete wall only in the middle, so when the water level increases it can easily overflow from this side,” said Aakar Charitable Trust engineer Drigpal Singha, “Other walls are made from earthen bunds, and the bed is just normal soil, so as you can see, it’s all soil.

“When it gets filled up the water directly seeps into the soil and recharges the water table, and brings up the water level in all the nearby wells.

“The trust provides 60% of the resources for each check dam, and they ask the local community to provide the remaining 40%.”

“These check dams will be very beneficial for locals here, and in future it will help the seasonal crops.

“But it has limitations also. This innovation can’t be applicable for the whole of India because India has different geography,” he added.

It would be innovative solutions to major challenges across South Asia which had been resolved.

Teams had been arranged to maintain that level community investment that made the villages and farmers took ownership of the dams, and so when the trust moves on, the benefits remained.














Reporter: Syeda Faiza Bukhari


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