This year we have attempted a new initiative.
In collaboration with Maharashtra Knowledge Foundation and Nirman, we appealed to youth to voluntarily participate in an exercise to understand drought situation in villages.
Volunteers who are working in various types of jobs, college students enthusiastically participated in this initiative.
The programme was to first acquaint the volunteers to – various aspects of drought, how to understand drought, its socio-eco impact; then the various measures to combat drought were deliberated. For water situation to improve in drought hit areas, both ground water as well as surface water, it is imperative that watershed based structures are built. MGNREGA was discussed as the most promising programme of the Government to mitigate drought, it provides wages to buy foodgrain which is the short term solution while it can create watershed structures which can address water situation which is a more long term solution.
Volunteers visited specific villages across Maharashtra and had sustained dialogue with the villagers, over weekends for three months. During their visits they interacted with the villagers to understand the present resource base of that village and also provide information regarding schemes like MGNREGA.