Fostering Resilience, Shramdaan Diwas Sets the Stage for a Groundswell of Community-Led Environmental Action
WOTR celebrated Shramdaan Diwas on October 12, the birthday of its late co-founder, Hermann Bacher, with community service activities spanning across Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. This tribute underscored Bacher’s lifelong commitment to community mobilization and environmental conservation, yielding substantial on-ground results and widespread participation.
“Shramdaan Diwas resonates deeply with everyone at WOTR. Hermann Bacher, who left us in 2021, pioneered transformative, community-led watershed development, altering countless lives across rural India and shaping the country’s response to drought. His ethos transcended conservation, focusing on community empowerment and recognizing that impactful change originates from grassroots levels.
Shramdaan Diwas is not only a celebration but a homage to Bacher’s extraordinary dedication and the sense of resolve he has instilled in the WOTR community,” reflected Prakash Keskar, Executive Director of WOTR.
This Shramdaan Diwas saw remarkable engagement, with concerted activities across 102 villages in eight states and the enthusiastic participation of 6,353 individuals, including WOTR personnel and villagers. These efforts culminated in significant environmental enhancements, including trenching, bunding, and various other land treatment, amounting to a substantial 988.20 cubic meters of work. Furthermore, 53 water harvesting structures were created, reinforcing ecological sustainability.
“The extensive efforts during Shramdaan Diwas stand as a living tribute to Hermann Bacher’s enduring vision,” stated Prakash Keskar. “The achievements of this day, from significant soil and water conservation measures to the fostering of communal ties, extend beyond quantifiable outcomes — they mark progressive steps towards sustainable living and societal strengthening.”
WOTR acknowledges these collaborative undertakings, indicative of a deep-seated commitment to local inhabitants and the wider community. These initiatives, in harmony with Bacher’s principles, emphasize the transformative power of collective action.
“Today’s accomplishments reinforce Hermann Bacher’s conviction in the strength of community collaboration,” added Keskar. “This spirit of unity and shared responsibility continues to guide our journey towards environmental balance and communal harmony.”
Embracing Bacher’s legacy, the organization remains steadfast in its pursuit of cooperative involvement and sustainable progression.