Water conservation helps Jharkhand's farmers
Bero (Jharkhand), Aug.16 (ANI): Tribal Chieftain Simon Oraon of Bero, a village near Jharkhand capital Ranchi, has given a new lease of life to his fellow farmers by leading a movement for the conservation of rain water, primarily for use in irrigation.
The septuagenarian activist, who has earned the name Jharkhand's Anna Hazare, has been working towards a better rainwater harvesting and conservation system for the past four decades.
Having realized early on that rainwater from nearby lakes and other sources should be preserved and used, instead of being allowed to drain away, Oraon's efforts to save rainwater have won all-round praise.
Lauding Oraon's initiative, Rita Bhagat, a villager, said that various wells in Bero have benefited since he has ensured the availability of water for the farmers.
Fondly addressed as Simon Raja, he has ushered consistent prosperity for the villagers.
"Simon Raja has done a lot for us. He has opened canals, and the water from the canals has been used for irrigation of crops. In the summertime we had enough water to plant Makkai (corn)." said Rita Bhagat
As for his mode of work, Simon Oraon, said that he holds weekly meetings with villagers to discuss various plans aimed at further development.
"We have a meeting every week in the village to discuss future plans. We sow the seeds, and later, replant together. Once a week, we volunteer to build the roads and the canals by clearing the wild growth in the neighbourhood. We surveyed the area and made the locals understand the work, and everyone contributed. And, with their help, we have been able to achieve this," said Simon Oraon
Over the years, Simon 'Raja' has been directly responsible for the setting up of a dozen wells, five water tanks and three mini dams to help farmers make the best use of water even during difficult times.
His efforts have resulted in cultivation of more than 1000 acres of land, which the tribal farmers cleared themselves, but were unable to use for a long time, due to lack of water.
Even with a weak monsoon this year, apart from Bero, villagers of Khakhsi Toli, Jaam Toli, and Boda have had no problems with their crops.
Rainwater harvesting is an innovative alternative to farmers who otherwise have to rely solely on weather gods. (ANI)
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