Betiyon Ka Van
We, the daughters from the Kukriyal village, near Reethkhal, District Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand (Middle Himalaya) (29 54 04.44N, 78 49 09.87E Elevation 3600 ft) have decided to rejuvenate traditional water source of our maternal village through series of activities viz. tree plantation, cleaning of the area and making water retention structures in the catchment area, for which we need financial, technical, volunteer and emotional support from people from all walks of life.
Himalayan ecosystems currently face serious challenges from deforestation, developmental pressure and over exploitation of natural resources. The problems are further aggravated by climate change that directly impacts the livelihoods of the people by influencing water availability and temperature regime.
During our interaction with the people in villages in Pauri Garhwal, most villagers complained of drying of traditional water sources (Naullas, wells and springs). Most villages face severe water shortage during summer months and there is widespread concern over declining water security. Water scarcity further affects hill agriculture and leads to food insecurity and thereby forcing people to migrate.
Families are struggling to cope with declining water security in most of the villages near Reethakhal. Water scarcity in the region is a result of complex causes some of which are deforestation, developmental activities, rapid run off, and barren surface above the traditional water sources. Acute water shortage in the area directly impacts the women, who now have to travel larger distances to get water for domestic purposes. Be it an old women or young girls, you will see them carrying buckets and bottles filled with water. Women wait in long queues for their turn to fill water and then carry the heavy burden to their houses. Such sights are very common in this area.
This is the reason why ‘WE’ the daughters of village Kukriyal, near Reethakhal have unanimously decided to rejuvenate the old water source of our maternal village. Most of us have spent our childhood and youth around these water bodies playing and enjoying with friends. As young girls we would bathe in the early hours of Makar – Sankranti in the dream of getting a handsome husband. During our marriage we worshipped the same water sources, and left the maternal village with a dream of successful married life. Most of us are now living a comfortable life in the cities and have access to all facilities, but the memories of childhood and our maternal village still make us nostalgic. To honour our childhood memories and also to support women in our maternal village we will revive our water resources.
We will take care of the small forest which will be created by the daughters of the village and called “Betiyounka Van” (“Forest of Daughter). We hope that this initiative will surely reduce the work pressure on women and also to ensure water security in the area and will enhance the ground water level. This will further help the women, who will have to travel less and the time saved will be spend with their families. Also the young girls will be able to devote more time to their studies and thus securing a prosperous future.
To suit the ecology of the area we will plant the following
(i) Trees: Oak, Mulberry, Bhimal, (ii) Grasses and Bamboo: Broom Grass, Rye and Ringal.
Along with plantation we would also improve the Catchment area through construction of Khals, terrace levelling and repair, percolation pits and water harvesting ponds.
Money required for plantation, catchment area improvement, care and protection cost for one year and community mobilisation/awareness will be around Rs. 1,00,000.
We do need your support and guidance. We need some money, we need technical support, and we also need volunteer support. Please join us in the noble initiative-
“NAARI Foundation” - Noble Alliance for Arts and Rejuvenating Innovation
In collaboration with “Friends of Himalaya”firstname.lastname@example.org