Article written by Eshwer Kale published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) (Vol. 52, Issue No. 3 dated 21 Jan, 2017)
Rejuvenated landscape, rejuvenated lives is a story of how the people of Kaluchi Thakarwadi changed their destiny: a story of transformation from desert to replenished watershed. Kaluchi Thakarwadi is no longer a tragedy of inhospitable climate and unfortunate circumstances.
Published in LEISA , this story follows the Watershed Development process that is one of the major tools that can combat desertification.
Watershed treatments are instrumental in containing desertification and replenishing degraded lands. Through various types of treatments, depending on the layout of the land, water is made to percolate into the ground, thus raising groundwater levels.
Farmers have benefited greatly with the increased level of the groundwater table in the existing wells. Wells that barely filled up in the rainy season now have water throughout the year. Now, a second crop is possible, while earlier, barely one was possible in a year. The check dam has become a sustaining source of drinking water as well as irrigation. This has been most helpful in reducing women’s drudgery in fetching water from far off places.
There is obvious economic prosperity which can be observed. Majority of the population which was migrating earlier has settled down, with better access to income. People are now able to invest on their homes, their children and their lifestyles. This is visibly evident with the television and telephone reaching Kaluchi Thakarwadi. Now, the people in Kaluchi Thakarwadi, are no more isolated from the larger world.