47. What type of understanding should the village people cultivate in order to maintain check-dams, ponds and farm-ponds?

47

A farmer builds a well at the cost of Rs. 1.5 lakh, purchases a submersible motor for Rs. 50000 and expects to get water from the well. The farmer, spending Rs. 2 lac, forgets one important fact that if we want that the well should not get dried up, it is unavoidable to take care of check-dams and ponds also. If these check-dams and ponds have water, only then water will be filled in the well and if water is available in adequate quantity, a farmer can get a crop of 14000 kgs of cotton from a field of 20 VINGHAS. Out of these 14000 kgs of cotton the farmer should keep aside 200 kgs of cotton for the maintenance of check-dams and ponds. If 200 farmers of the village allot income earned from 200 kgs of cotton for check-dams and ponds, totally a fund of Rs.20 lac can be allotted for the maintenance of all the check-dams and ponds of the village.

All the understanding and wise people of the village should try to keep the village committee active. There should be adequate funds in the account of the committee and that fund should be managed honestly and transparently. It is through the efforts and management of the village committee that the existing check-dams and ponds should be taken care of and maintained. Again it is the village committee that should build more check-dams and ponds, taking the benefit of various schemes of the government. The village committee should also strive to maintain an atmosphere of unity in the village and also try to make the people realize the importance of water conservation. Continuous efforts should be made to keep the village people connected with the Project. When it rains for the first time, all the village people should take out a celebration procession to a nearby check-dam or pond and celebrate the first rain with enthusiasm and joy. I will give you an interesting example of a “First Rain Celebration Program”.

It has been a regular custom to arrange the First Rain’s Greetings Program at Hamirasar pond in Bhuj. As soon as the monsoon season’s first rainfall occurs, the celebration program is planned. It is celebrated in the presence of the Mayor of the town and all the people. It is my humble appeal to you to organize such greeting programs in your village also. All the students of the school, all the teachers, all the children, all the village people and all the leading persons of the village should join in this celebration program. Women of the village should remain present with a plate, a lamp, red powder (GULAAL) and rice. All the people in the procession should carry ‘Conserve Water’ banners with them and reach the pond where the program is going to take place. All the couples should stand in a row with discipline. They should carry in their hand a plate with a kindled lamp; children should also have a similar plate with a kindled lamp. All of them should worship the pond by doing AARTI with that lamp.

Such celebration programs will give a boost to the children’s respect for the pond. It will also generate an understanding in the children that if they are eager to increase their agricultural production, if they wish to keep their village green and beautiful, and if they want to keep the land of their village moist and fertile, they must take care of all the check-dams and ponds of the village and build more and more ponds. Such programs will create many positive effects-

  • They will boost the children’s enthusiasm
  • They will generate in them an awakening about the importance of water and its conservation
  • Children will cultivate the habit of conserving water and consuming water very carefully
  • Farmers will definitely adopt Drip Irrigation Method

Farmers will realize that it is through water management program alone that they can give a place of honour to their village, they can serve their nation and they can increase the honour of their country