Organisation Functioning Structures

Mathurbhai discussing with the village committee members.
Mathurbhai discussing with the village committee members.

SJT has over the years created database of 3,00,000 workers, who are now members of the trust. The Trust deals with the workers of diamond industry come from 4,000 villages of Saurashtra region (seven districts – Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Amreli, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Porbandar and Surengranagar). These workers are a creative link between their respective native villages and the Trust and play a crucial role as a mediator. The negotiations for building check dams in a village take place between the village leaders, the workers and the Trust.

Simultaneously, Mathurbhai organizes series of conferences in Saurashtra region and advertises these conferences through local newspapers / dailies. In all 9 such sammelan (large conference / gathering) have been organized in various parts of Gujarat. Along with this, the Trust promotes the idea of “vacation at native village, for native village”. Whosoever is interested in building check dam in the village then approaches Mathurbhai in Surat and Mathurbhai follows it up through workers of teat village; he organizes meeting in Surat with the diamond workers belonging to village and gets detailed information about village dynamics. He then holds meeting with two groups of people – the village residents of the village and the diamond workers of that village. They all jointly chalk out the plan – formation of village committee, total cost estimate, number of check dams to be built, technical information related to check dams, contribution of village residents, allocation of JCB machines and so on. The engineers of the trust visits village and prepare technical reports and submit the files to the government; they also identify dam sites and design of the dams.

Many a times, the village doesn’t have to wait till the financial approval of the government takes place. The village residents form village committee and start collecting contribution – from land holders and those who willing to donate money over and above its contributory share. Those who cannot contribute financially, are motivated to contribute with physical labour – supervising activities at dam site, providing food to drivers and so on. The village committee assures quality.

SJT has introduced few symbols around water. For example, while entering village where check dams have been built with the help of SJT, a cement structure with 5 copper-brass pots with a name of the donor is observed, (see photograph) When the group of women has to go and serve food and tea to drivers and the villagers who are supervising at dam sites, they pass from the village while singing folk songs and reach the sites. After first rain, when the dam is filled with rainwater, the villagers perform a pooja (a prayer with offering) at the dam site, which is called ‘jal-aarti’.

Those who are not clear about check dam and its technicality; they visit Khopala to get insights and inspiration. People from more than 1,500 villages have visited Khopala till now.

The Trust has produced one lakh (0.1 million) audiocassettes, 25 lakhs (2.5 millions) pamphlets and booklets for awareness spreading. A respective donor has sponsored each of such event or effort.

The Trust has organized event where the leaders of the village or the members of the village committee are awarded and honoured with different memento like a picture of check dam, shawl (a traditional way to honour) and a shield.