About this papers: It is about a distant small town named Kapshi in Maharashtra. A group of us from IIT Bombay visited the small town to larn about the advancement that was achieved at that place. This papers is hosted on my web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. it. iitb. Ac. in/~gumma
I can be reached at [ electronic mail protected ]
Backdrop: Until about three old ages back. the small town was sing terrible drought conditions with no H2O handiness during the dry periods. It was inspirational to witness the manner villagers transformed their conditions with self-belief and a chumminess that is deserving emulating.
1 Attempts towards H2O preservation
Kapshi experiences about 250-300 millimeter of rainfall every twelvemonth. which occur in explosions of six to ten enchantments of rains from June to September. The H2O tabular array of the part had dropped so low that the small town reeled under terrible drouth conditions for three old ages an had to depend on the oiler H2O supply for their endurance.
Egged on by the voluntaries of ‘Art of Living’ foundation. the villagers made corporate attempts to raise the groundwater degree and hive away the surface H2O for thin periods. ‘Bandharas’ or little cheque dikes of about three pess high were constructed along a long undulating terrain stretching about 20 kilometers. which was identified as the path of H2O run-off during monsoon by the Civil Engineers of the Government. Shrubs and trees along its way were cleared. About 20 such dikes have been built wholly by hebdomadal ‘Shram-daan’ by the villagers.
There are two types of Bandharas: –
‘Kaccha-bandhara’- made up of beds of rocks bounded by steel wire meshes to forestall their disruption when faced with running H2O. Their primary intent is to forestall headlong run-off of H2O thereby leting it adequate clip for it to ooze into the dirt beneath. These steps have been helpful in raising the H2O tabular array over a period of 2 old ages.
2 ) ‘Pakka-bandhara’-constructed out of concrete and cement. they are about 3 pess high on the H2O confronting side and 5 pess on the leeward side. The trenches between two such 5 pess walls are cement lined at the underside to forestall ooze of H2O to the resistance. The primary purpose here is to hive away the rainwater for gradual subsequent usage for farm intents. It was built by authorities grant. However. by efficient steps employed by the villagers the occupation was done by disbursement merely 2 out of 3 lacs sanctioned ab initio. The balance money is to be used for building two parallel dikes next to the chief one to roll up the subsequent floods of H2O.
1 Wells and methods to augment belowground storage
The villagers have carefully dug Wellss of about 35 pess depth that gaining control H2O during the rainy season every bit good as belowground ooze. Each well is equipped with a little pump used to H2O the adjoining Fieldss. Some Wellss are besides used to provide drinking H2O round the twelvemonth. The H2O in these Wellss is foremost treated with Potassium Permanganate ( lal goli ) etc. before being used. By the way. this was the first twelvemonth when Kapshi had to non take resort to Municipal oiler supply of H2O.
Apart from the Wellss a alone manner of hive awaying H2O was the ‘Underground Bandhara’ . Using the cognition of the terrain. and with the aid of applied scientists from the Agricultural Department. a part of about 1 sq. km country under the surface was carved out for hive awaying H2O that seeped underneath during the rainy season. To forestall run-off to take down lying countries and still deeper countries an L-shaped polyethylene sheet was layered along the storage country. The accrued H2O could happen its manner to the nearby Wellss thereby supplying refilling to the Wellss from clip to clip. Apart from the Government grants some money was besides provided by the ‘Art of Living’ foundation for these building activities. ( ? )
Continuous Contour Trenches ( CCT )
An illustration of first degree H2O direction. a barren of approximately? estates was kept aside for contour irrigation. Concentric trenches were dug with intermittent planar land being cultivated with carnal fresh fish. During the rainy season H2O flows into these contours and gets in turn collected into the homocentric trenches over a bit by bit inclining topography. It helps in bit by bit raising the H2O tabular array of the country every bit good as forestalling top dirt eroding by headlong run-off of H2O. The two-dimensional surface between the two trenches is utilized Ti grow fresh fish for the animate beings.
This luxuriant work was brought approximately under the Food-for-work programme tally by the Government during the back-to-back drouths the small town faced. Each villager who contributed ‘shram-daan’ of 8 hour. a twenty-four hours per twelvemonth ( 6 months + 6 months over two old ages of dry enchantments ) was given 25 kilogram of grains per? .
One of the interesting characteristics of Kapshi was that each house there was equipped with a lavatory with an bordering soak cavity. The body waste from the lavatories is collected into an belowground and to the full covered soak cavity bit by bit over a period of 15 old ages. The soak cavity has two Chamberss. which could be instead made usage at the clip of aggregation which is supposed to take 15 yearss. The gathered body waste is anaerobically digested by micro-organisms over a long period to change over it into a all right powdery manure that sells in bordering markets of Pune at Rs 200 per kilogram.
This agreement provokes inquiries as to whether a similar agreement could be worked out even in metropoliss. given that Waste Disposal is a much more serious issue here. for eg. . the waste coevals far exceeds the mean centralised intervention installation available in Mumbai and so most of the waste is dumped directly into the sea. This is merely proroguing the job. as the waste is rich in organics and nitrates that cause terrible H2O pollution. As Prof. Shankar puts it. a similar attempt of handling waste at beginning in metropoliss requires a alteration in mentality that considers utilizing inordinate H2O to merely force the waste into the sea as the ‘best’ option.
Organic Manure and Biogas
Cow droppings collected from a few houses is put into a cylindrical steel armored combat vehicle put belowground and assorted with H2O to do slurry. This slurry is kept under airtight conditions. The anaerobiotic digestion procedure. called biomethanation. generates gobar gas over a period of? yearss that is collected and used as fuel by the families. Typically. droppings from 4 cattles is sufficient to back up 1 households fuel demands for? yearss. Further. the left over by-product of the above procedure is dried and put in farms as manure.
This pattern raises pertinent inquiries: – Is the left over cow droppings by-product better manure than the natural cow droppings itself? Can vegetable and other straw waste be used as provender to these biogas workss or added to byproduct before seting into the field?
Consultations with some of the professors in the Chemical Engg Dept seem to indicate at some replies: – Use of cow droppings as provender for biogas workss seems to a necessary immorality with the turning cheaper fuel demands of the small towns. Actually. its use in this signifier is uneconomical as so valuable cellulose degrading bacteriums. which fix Nitrogen required for works growing. acquire killed. Further. the procedure generates NH3 and H2S in dissolved signifier which stay as unfixed and accumulate in the dirt. Alternatively. using cow droppings straight to the farms ( in solid signifier or pumping with H2O ) is considered the best as it preserves the ruminant ecology ( ironss of mutualist micro-organisms ) . so important for doing foods of the dirt available to the workss. This is why cow droppings is referred to as merely non a fertiliser but as a ‘bio-culture’ .
Mix of vegetable and maize waste to the biogas by merchandise and utilizing it as a fertiliser is non a good thought because the left over is already rich in organics and add-on of straw waste would merely add more organics. Alternatively. powdered basaltic stone ( found in plentifulness in that part ) could be added to it. which would supply minerals to be used by the dirt.
A still better attack seems to utilize cow droppings as such in the dirt and add the powdery basaltic stone to it. Minerals that are otherwise in shortage in organic agriculture methods are provided by the powdery stone. The productiveness in this mode seems to increase as per experience of farming in north Bihar and other river basins. Furthermore. straw and other vegetable waste could be used for biogas coevals. However. this may necessitate using usage of lignin ( hard to interrupt ) degrading enzymes. whose feasibleness requires farther probe.
1 Burning of fresh fish grass and weeds
A pattern widely used across North India. was besides seen here. Operational convenience and high costs of deweeding and degrassing seems to be one of the strong motives behind this pattern. It can. nevertheless. be argued that this is a uneconomical procedure as the energy nowadays in the weeds is merely wasted in the signifier of CO2 and released into the ambiance. Alternatively. if these straws and grasses could be used in a biogas works to bring forth biogas. it would function duplicate benefits of fuel energy every bit good as rid ofing the usage of cow droppings for biogas intents. Again. the feasibleness of this procedure needs farther probe.
There is besides the other side to the pattern of firing grasses. They generate. among other things. carcinogens like dioxins into the ambiance.
1 Burning of polyethylene
Plastics are accumulated over a period of clip and burnt. This is unsafe as combustion causes coevals of toxic by-products which are believed to be carcinogens and are much more hard to biodegrade than the parent compounds. With the given restrictions in engineering it would be better to recycle them. For this a regularized dumping and aggregation system needs to be put in topographic point along with the Municipality. Given the restrictions of this option. it would be best to cut their usage at beginning.
2 Organic Farming
Bing informant to the big sized onions that villagers in kapshi grow and holding eaten the delightful nutrient at that place. it can be said that organic agribusiness has been one of their success narratives. Use of natural fertilisers and insect powders chiefly utilizing cow droppings and piss has made them successfully swith over to chemical free agribusiness. The villagers. seem to be to the full convinced that usage of man-made fertilisers and DDT etc. was a beginning of slow toxic condition. Thier avidity to acquire rid of this enabled them to willingly accept marginally low farm outputs in the first twelvemonth of switch over to new agriculture. Not merely is the organic merchandise bigger. it lasts longer and does non necessitate luxuriant storage installations.
Organic Farming. is in some manner. like traveling back to the old ways of farming practiced since times immemorial up until 40 to 50 old ages back. Peoples still recollect their grandmas talking about the quality. Taste. etc. of the veggies and the grains used during their times. If this was so. so why was it that usage of chemical fertilisers was resorted to in the first topographic point. As Prof. Venkatesh puts it. Organic Farming is prone to taint and spoilage by unknown plagues or new strains of micro-organisms which is why people tend to turn organic nutrients in protected environments or utilize insect powders to maintain off all beings.
The demands of a quickly turning population needed nutrient grain production at a much faster gait than what was being achieved in the 1960ss. Led by the Western experience in this respect. the usage of intercrossed seeds with extended fertiliser and pesticide usage could accomplish a pronounced rise in production. ab initio. Agriculture became H2O intensifier that had its consequence over the old ages in the signifier of withdrawing H2O tabular array. Further. man-made fertilisers provide H+ions to the dirt to solubilize the minerals present that could so be harvested by the workss.
However. their usage over a period destroyed the natural ecology that existed in the dirt. In this mode utile microorganisms nowadays in the roots of the works were destroyed forestalling natural N arrested development and denitrification. With repeated usage. it resulted in an ever-increasing dose of the fertilisers. The increased use finally resulted in the high sourness degrees that are witnessed today in the dirt. rendering the latter infertile.
Having said this. fall backing to agriculture is a hazardous proposition ab initio. but if persisted it seems to be a certain manner of traveling towards increased productiveness over a longer period. In the present instance. villagers learnt the techniques of organic agriculture from Mr. ( Ramesh? ) Palekar of Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh. This included the right sort of dose and timing of the manures to be administered to the land. Interestingly. serpents and farm cats are used as natural pesticides that eat off the rats that attack the standing harvests and grains. It was cheering to see that the villagers seem satisfied with both the quality and measure of their green goods after the first twelvemonth when the production was lower than what was obtained utilizing inorganic fertiliser usage.
3 Advanced Coconut strategy
With fiscal assistance from the Panchayat. each family planted a coconut tree by itself puting about Rs. 5-10 for the sapling. The balance money is to be bit by bit paid as revenue enhancements to the Panchayats get downing with the 2nd twelvemonth of plantation. with those having a pukka house blasting out more revenue enhancement than those with kuccha house ( Progressive Tax ) . As the tree grows. it was estimated to that the merchandises of the coconut tree would bring about Rs. 1000-2000 p. a. to each household. The pick of the coconut tree is interesting. Each portion of the tree lends itself of use-stem. fruit. bark. etc. for assorted intents. Furthermore. coconut tree is comparatively fast growth ; its roots are little plenty non to damage the foundations of the house. The H2O demands for its growing can be met by imparting the H2O used for domestic lavation intents.
4 Desire for alternate energy beginnings
The villagers were really acute on happening replacements for their power demands. They do acquire about 6-10 hour of electricity everyday but happen the measures reasonably hefty. Most of them were acute to cognize if they could alternatively utilize Solar Energy for street and other lighting intents. With the treatments that followed thenceforth with Prof Date and others. the usage of Photo-voltaic cells as
beginning of power seems to really dearly-won and can non be used.
5 Art of Living and its function
Prime enterprise: Dr. Paul. based in Phalton but makes hebdomadal trips to the small town to administrate medical intervention to the villagers. Realised that the villagers needed to be brought together to work out their ain jobs. Himself. a donee of the Art of Living classs. he convinced the foundation to get down short Navchetana shivirs for people in the small towns learning some simple pranayamas and making satsang ( devotional intonation in fold ) . 6 villagers attended the first such cantonment and thenceforth the concatenation began to turn. In his ain words. Dr. Paul found that the villagers were really acute to take up duty and were mature adequate to do forfeits for the larger cause. Gradually. some villagers gave up intoxicant spirits and baccy etc. and other malpractices. As one of the small town eleders put it. the one-hr hebdomadal congregational satsang was their manner to gain themselves and bury junior-grade issues.
Furthermore. the construct of ‘expanding your responsibilities’ imparted in these cantonments seems to hold worked admirations in bridging the dramatis personae divide. However. in all equity it must be mentioned that because of the progressive motions by Jyotiba Phule. MG Ranade etc. in parts of West Maharashtra over the past 100-150 old ages the general public here is really mature and the caste rigidnesss are non every bit strong as in some other parts of the state. Differentiations do be but they are merely at the degree of business. This facet seemed to hold helped Dr. Paul. The sarpanch of this small town seems to be a adult male among the multitudes. He leads from the forepart and does shram-daan himself along with others in all the activities taken by small towns. No admiration he was awarded the ‘Best Sarpanch of Maharashtra’ award last twelvemonth.
This narrative from the small town holds of import arrows to people populating in metropoliss every bit good. Most jobs could be dealt with at the micro degree if witting attempts are made towards them. Thingss like pranayama. religion. satsang spur subject and send messages to put one’s action in a position. Such steps are long lasting. as they strike deep into the human mind. With increased force. insecurity and intolerance that is witnessed in the society today such steps suggest a manner out. No admiration. progressively people are fall backing to them in the metropoliss and in the West as good.