Villagers in Nainwa subdivision of Rajasthan’s Bundi district made a 2050-foot-long dam by contributing Rs 45 lakh to tackle the issue of depleting groundwater. The residents of 13 villages came together, and worked day and night to build the dam in 29 days. The 80-foot-wide and 29-foot-high dam was built in the Baman gram panchayat area without government support. Local farmers also gave away more than 56 hectares (350 bighas) of land for the dam.
Baman village was put in the dark zone list due to its depleting groundwater which had shrunk to as low as 800 feet. The villagers have been struggling to get potable water in the region. Frustrated with government inaction to resolve the water crisis, the villagers decided to take the matters into their own hands.
Former village heads Radha Kishan Gurjar, Chotu Lal Gurjar, Satyanaryana Bhati, Gajanand Gurjar and Satyanarayan Gurjar were part of the plan to call a meeting of 13 villages that come under the Baman gram panchayat area. Their goal was to make a dam over the rainwater stream in the village to preserve the water. However, they needed financial resources and land where the dam would be constructed.
Concerned about the depleting groundwater, local farmers gave away more than 56 hectares of agricultural land where the dam had to be constructed. To raise money, the villagers first diverted the Rs 19 lakh fund raised for a proposed temple for the dam project. Rs 15 lakh more came after the villagers collectively sold their mustard crop. Besides, Rs 11 lakh were collected through donations by the villagers.
The villagers brought 6 JCB machines and 46 tractor trolleys to start the construction. The residents did not take any help from professional engineers for the dam project. By simply working in shifts in the scorching heat for 29 days, the villagers managed to build the dam. The 2050-foot-wide bridge is now an example of resilience.