It was in the month of May, two years ago, the rural village Heggodu and its surroundings, by the side of Western Ghats was experiencing severe drought. Ladies and children were waiting for release of drinking water by the gram panchayat through pipeline which was never the seen before.
Malnad region, which used to get about 3000mm of rainfall during 2009-10, started receiving 1/4th of it due to 4 years of sequential deficit in rainfall. 'Dyavasa River' is a lifeline of about 4000 population in 15 villages in Shimoga District of Karnataka State, India, that runs about 9 km and joins the main river Sharavathi, famous for its Linganamakki dam and Jog falls. It is the main source of drinking water and agricultural activities for the rural population where agriculture is the main occupation.
There are about 21 tanks along the river that need desiltation and several check dams and recharge wells to be built along the river to sink water to the ground during monsoon to rejuvenate the river and make it flow during summer also.
That is when 'Dyavasa Punarujjivana Samiti', a committee of local people with a resolve to take it on was born to rejuvenate the small river stream 'Dyavasa' which is a life-line for the villages both for drinking water and agriculture.
A committee of local people call 'Dyavasa Punarujjivana Samiti' has been formed under the agies of a local foundation called 'Kakal Foundation' to prepare the action plan and take up execution. A scientific plan with help from the river rejuvenation group of The Art of Living-Bangalore using satellite maps, contour mapping, intervention points is prepared and ready for execution. Few of the tanks have been de-silted during last summer and further work should progress. This fund rising effort is to complete the project and provide sustainable drinking water and agriculture water source for the rural population.
About 6 tanks have been de-silted in the last two years and more to go. Further 15 tanks and check dam construction activity is taken up one by one as and when the funds are mobilised. Contribution from Kakal Foundation, a local NGO, by the local people, by those who reside outside the village, but want to give back to their roots and general crowd funding contributions are used. Hopefully, with such efforts, the river stream will start flowing again, wells will get rejuvenated and the villagers don't have to wait for pipeline water again.