Imagine a world where everyone has access to plenty of water, crops grow freely - green and healthy and everyone has clean abundant water to drink.
That’s what Sikander Meeranayak did as he looked around his dried up village and asked himself that driving question.
“What can I do to make change? How can I create a better life for my children and all the children around me?”
And his answer came in the understanding that if the villagers and farmers had access to an abundant supply of water their lives would be enhanced in many ways. If they had plenty of clean water they could irrigate their crops, water their livestock and would lead better and healthier lives. As they grew more crops with greater variety, their income would also grow. They would be empowered to educate their children, have better health care, to lead more sustainable lives and would have no need to leave their families and village to seek work in the cities.
As he set out to study, implement, refine and discover better ways to bring water to the parched lands and the dried up bore wells he experimented with existing water harvesting methods. This trial and error method led him to develop a unique form of rain water borewell recharge system which is cost effective, permanent and easy to implement. He has gone on to assisting over 400 farmers with a proven and economical solution to their water difficulties. He has also installed the same method on schools, public buildings - industrial sites and housing societies.
Sikandar has a guiding dream. He keeps fixed in the forefront of his mind and his work that by 2030 water scarcity in India will be a thing of the past. He envisages creating 1000 borewell recharge systems per year and that this simple easily installed technology will spread to all the surrounding districts. He sees his role as helping people to understand this system so that they can build it themselves and the spread will become vast.
This is his story - but it is not only his story - through his vision already more than four hundred farming families now have a new story.
A story of hope, of an abundance of food, and the possibilities of a better life opening before them - given by a bountiful water supply.
You can see more about the work of our organisation at srdsindia.org.
OUR METHOD OF RECHARGING BORE WELLS USING RAIN WATER HARVESTING:
- We dig a 10x10 feet percolation pit around the bore well - and an adjoining catchment area (pond) is excavated (this pond does not need to take up a large area)
- Stone pitching is done around the walls of the percolation pit
- A 3 inch layer of sand is made at the bottom of the pit
- Holes or slits are made in the bore well casing pipe and we then cover it with mesh - to ensure nothing but water goes into the bore well.
- Cement rings are placed around the bore well pipe and that area is left open. The cement rings are concreted together
- The remaining area of the pit outside the cement rings is filled with sand, stone and gravel.
- Rain water from the catchment area (pond) gets transferred to the percolation pit
- This then seeps in through the sand and gravel outside of the Cement rings - and
- The water filters up through the sand in the base of the cement rings and fills the area around the pipe casing.
- And then enters into the bore well through the protective mesh and the holes.
We have see that if the percolation pit fills well for at least three good rains then the water level will be considerably increased after the first monsoon. There are more photos at the top of our submission as well as on our website at http://srdsindia.org.
A Postscript to the work of Sankalpa Rural Development Society:
Since the outset of this challenge we have also developed a concept which may asssist us all to bring our work to more people - we hope you may join with us and bring this vision to the full extent of its possibilities for good work to happen in a widespread manner.
3rd May 2016, Update on our current work: In the intensity of the drought conditions throughout the areas where our work is focused, (Karnataka) many villages have no access to drinking water. SRDS with the support of Infosys is organising and supplying water tankers to more than 40 villages. This action although essential and literally life saving for the villagers, is short term and only a 'stop gap.'
Our core work that of implementing bore well recharge systems is progressing at the same time - with as many as possible being done before the coming rains. In this way we are working to alleviate the need for emergency water supplies in the following dry season with an abundant supply of water from bore wells where implementation has occurred and the monsoon waters have been fed into the underlying aquifers.
We will also prepare submissions at Governmental level to encourage legislation for the compulsory implementation of recharge systems on all new bore wells that are being dug throughout India. In this way the bore wells will become assets rather than a drain and a risk to the future of the precious ground water.