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Community participation in water conservation: Maharashtra’s Rohan Kale sets an example

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Last Updated: March 14, 2022, 14:22 IST

Community participation in water conservation: Maharashtra’s Rohan Kale sets an example

India is likely heading towards a significant water crisis as according to a 2018 report by NITI Aayog.

India is likely heading towards a significant water crisis as according to a 2018 report by NITI Aayog, about 600 million individuals could face severe water scarcity by 2030. The report titled, Composite Water Management Index also revealed that India ranks 120th in the list of 122 countries when it comes to water quality index and nearly 70% of the country’s water is contaminated. 

The data released by the Central Ground Water Board in 2017, indicated a crisis due to overexploited groundwater levels in India. The data revealed that as many as 256 out of 700 districts in India have reached critical groundwater levels.

In such a scenario, community participation can play an effective role in spreading awareness and revival of many dying water bodies.  A community-driven conservation effort can infuse behavioural response as compared to policy interventions by the government.

A conservationist from Maharashtra has set an example how community mobilisation and participation of people can create wonders for water conservation. Rohan Kale, a Human Resource professional from Maharashtra, has successfully mapped and documented 1650 step wells across the state in an effort to revive the dying natural water sources. He has travelled over 14,000 km across the state. 

According to Kale, step wells in the state are found on every important pilgrimage routes like Nashik to Tryambakeshwar and Pune to Tuljapur. A lot of the step wells were constructed during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Kale’s love for historical structures made him to map different monuments and in the process he learnt the importance of reviving the drying step wells. What started as a passion last year has now turned into a conservation project and Kale is also getting support from 14 architecture colleges for his campaign.

Most of the step wells have dried and locals are dumping garbage in it. Kale started mapping these step wells and with the help of the architecture students he is going to complete the documentation process. Kale has also received support from the State Archeological Department and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation along with the Ground Water Survey Authority. 

Awareness and education play an important role in nurturing a community-driven approach and are elementary to bring social change. This will help in enabling individuals to reap the benefit of their collective action in a state like Maharashtra, where many parts suffer from water crisis, especially in summer. 

Mission Paani, an initiative by News 18 and Harpic India, advocates access to clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene for all. The campaign aims to amplify all efforts towards water conservation, sanitation and hygiene. 

You can be part of this revolution too and join the Mission Paani initiative.

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first published:March 14, 2022, 14:22 IST
last updated:March 14, 2022, 14:22 IST
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