Mandwa is a small village in Nagpur district of the dreaded Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Season upon season of failed rains had rendered the land unproductive and the villagers unemployed. But Mandwa clawed itself out of its hopeless situation through a watershed project that can be cited as a landmark success in the Vidarbha region.
Village Pimpale in district Nandurbar of North Maharashtra was just another of those barren and isolated places the residents of which had either resigned to their fate or migrated to the cities in search of work. The lack of water had turned the fields dry. The land was parched. Most of the houses had been abandoned. And there was this thick blanket of despair and misery.But Pimpale has cast off its slough of despondencyÂ forever. Those who had migrated returned to tend to theirÂ once forsaken fields.
When the fiery furnaces of nearby charcoal kilns were fed with wood from Mhaswandi verdant forests, its residents were happy, cash-rich and grateful to the rich timber merchants who acted as middlemen in the sale. It took a handful of years for the forests, the merchants and the money to vanish. Mhaswandi of today has won several awards for its efforts at Watershed Development and stands as an example of what a community can do when it determines to change.
Participatory Net Planning (PNP) was born of the need to develop a practical, participation-promoting and inclusive methodology that is at the same time pedagogically and technically sound. The PNP methodology grew out of the Indo- German Watershed Development Program (IGWDP) in Maharashtra, India.