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Rainwater Harvesting System in India

Author: Ragu Satz
by Ragu Satz
Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Helping the farmers with Rainwater Harvesting techniques

India is an agriculture-based country where 70% of the economy comes from the primary sector: farming. As intensive agriculture is spreading across India, there is an urgent need to encourage rainwater harvesting for irrigation. Nearly 60 % of farmers of the country depend on monsoons for agriculture due to the dearth of sustainable water resources. The erratic rain pattern was disturbing the livelihood of the cultivators. To address the issue a scientific water conversation technique named rainwater harvesting was introduced.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is a technique where the rainwaters are collected into natural reservoirs, tanks or made to infiltrate the surface waters via subsurface aquifers. Rainwater harvesting is a simple easy and cost-effective technique that can be set up in open farming fields to collect and use the rainwater for irrigating crops.

During the past three decades, the demand for irrigation has shot up. Farmers are harvesting multiple crops. Therefore, a systematic and scientific approach for conserving the water was necessary and rainwater harvesting turned out to be the best solution. This water conservation technique is being encouraged in critical sectors of the economy like agriculture due to the increasing demand for the irrigation and growing concerns of water scarcity.

HCCB and Rainwater Harvesting

Villages of Betul district Madya Pradesh faced severe water crisis due to the erratic rainfall patterns. To address the issue the villagers approached HCCB through a local NGO-Advancement for Social Action (ASA) for a solution.

HCCB soon spun into action with its team to set up a permanent solution to conserve water in the local areas. To help the villagers farm their land and feed their families HCCB developed many water stewardships programs. Under the integrated watershed management project, HCCB took up various conservative measures. HCCB in association of local authorities built 28 farm ponds and 35 masonry stop dams within a brief period of 24 months.

Furthermore, HCCB in partnership with NGO-ASA developed a five-year action plan to address the water scarcity in the surrounding villages. The five-year target was to improve the availability of the water for drinking, farming and other purposes in the local habitats. Additionally, the project was taken up to enhance the lives of the local community by encouraging monsoon dependent farming.

The excessive drilling of the borewells and wells resulted in depletion the groundwater in the local villages. So, HCCB used this opportunity to educate the local community about the importance of recharging of the depleting groundwater resource with rainwater harvesting.

Today nearly about 5000 families across the 38 villages are being benefitted by the sustainable water conservation techniques. The local farmers are reaping the results of rainwater harvesting measures taken by HCCB. HCCB in association with different NGOs take up such sustainable farming techniques to bring cheers in the lives of farmers who lack enough irrigation facilities and helped them to earn their living.

Rural Development in India

Developing Model villages for better living

The well-being of rural areas ensures sustainable development. The effective collaboration at the local level helps any organisation to bring transformation in the lives of villages. Rural development should be an inclusive approach that trickles down to five major areas of development namely: — water, health and sanitation, sustainable agriculture & economic sustainability, and education under the "model village" program.

Under the model village program, the organisations voluntarily adopt a village to make necessary amenities accessible to the inhabitants. Organisations along with the local authorities work in tandem to achieve rural development in the following verticals.

Better water amenities

Many villages face severe water crises due to the lack of pure water resources. Construction of many community-centric facilities like overhead tanks (OHT) for clean water supply, water purification plants and community RO units can address the major water crises faced in the village communities.

Sustainable agriculture

Lack of proper awareness about sustainable farming is a major concern in the farming community. Organising training sessions on sustainable solutions help the farming community to reap better yields. Encouragement of sustainable and modern agriculture techniques helps them to get accustomed to the progressive farming and rural development can be achieved at a faster pace.

Better education facilities

Latest statistics show that the school dropouts are at higher rates in villages. Organisations in collaboration with local authorities can ensure better infrastructure facilities to the schools located in the close vicinity of the villages. Effective implementation can reduce school dropout rates to a greater extent.

Better hygiene with health and sanitation

Health plays a vital role in the development of any country. Studies show that life expectancy is less in villages. Lack of accessibility to proper medical facilities has invariably resulted in high mortal rates in rural areas. Organising regular health camps can be an effective solution for healthy living in the rural community. Sincere efforts in health and sanitation can bring a change in the lives of people living in rural areas.

HCCB being one of the top 5 FMCG company of India postulates in inclusive growth with its rural development initiatives by its community-centric initiatives. One such instance was the adaptation of the Medanahalli village located in close vicinity to its Bidadi and Aranya factories of Karnataka.

HCCB engaged different community-centric programs across different verticals that constitute to rural development. Under this project, HCCB was able to bring a change in the lives of 771 families of Medanahalli holistically and today it has become a "model village" under HCCB ecosystem.

Rural Development in India aims at the overall development of rural India, the primary focus being the boosting of the agrarian economy of India. India’s agrarian economy is responsible for 1/5th of the total Gross Domestic Product, and for the country to keep at its pace of development, this is one sector that needs to be given primary importance. This includes bringing power to India’s villages, free education to its schools, and a better standard of living for the people living in rural areas.

Implementing newer and better methods of cultivation is another method to boost the agrarian economy. A fitting example of this is the Unnati project by HCCB. Employing a cutting edge technique known as Ultra High Density Plantation of mangoes, which cuts down the cultivation period of mangoes to a few months, while also increasing the number of mango trees that can be grown per acre.

Woman Entrepreneurship is another driving force in making Rural India transform into a developed one. With more and more avenues being opened for women to participate in, we see them setting up their own businesses and positively affecting the economy, transforming their own livelihood in the process.

In parts of India, far from the cities, where the real soul of the country exists, development means a whole different thing. And it is in fostering this development that we shall see a positive and lasting turnout.

The social responsibility of business usually involves a four-fold approach. This approach includes environmental sustainability initiatives taken by the company, direct philanthropic giving, that is done in the form of charity work, enforcement of ethical business practices in the workplace, and the stress placed on economic responsibility.

These four pillars help each individual company stand strong above the rest. By finding out one’s impact on the environment and through that, finding new ways to limit them, most companies working in the FMCG sector have come up with many innovative solutions for many of the problems faced by India in today’s world. This is a great way to find solutions to the problems at the source itself. Sustainable development in India is a broad topic, with myriad initiatives being carried out under it. When a company is sensitive to the land, air and water pollution that is caused due to its intervention and does its best to reverse these effects, we start seeing change in the world around us.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable development in a country as large as India, where the divide between the poor and the rich increases day by day, is something that seems difficult, sometimes even impossible to envision.

In a country of 1 billion, with man, woman and child racing to reach their own pre-set finish lines, sustainable development is achievable, but only if we join hands to achieve it.

Sustainable development in India involves multiple initiatives, many of which HCCB, one of the top FMCG companies in India, has proudly been a part of. From women empowerment, to rain water harvesting, the company takes its corporate social responsibility initiatives quite seriously.

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd company has reached out to communities in rural areas, adopting villages and going by a holistic approach in improving the lives of its people. They have built water tanks, funded schools in rural areas, provided sanitation facilities and much more.

An approach we all need to consider taking, in these times when progress is accounted only in terms of numbers and gross statistics, and not in the improvement of the quality of life of its people. Here we have a company that goes out of its way to make sure that people prosper along with the ecosystem that surrounds them.

About the Author

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd, is one of the largest Fmcg manufacturing companies in India. It is responsible for the manufacture, package, sale and distribution of beverages under the trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

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Author: Ragu Satz

Ragu Satz

Member since: Feb 15, 2019
Published articles: 5

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