Archive for April, 2014

Founders Day and the events that unfolded during the last two months.

Our focus remains on water after the recent drought that has led to steep decline in the incomes of the farmers thereby affecting the livelihoods of the old and marginalized persons in particular. During the last 3 months, we conducted three exposure visits for our staff and farmers to learn about traditional water conservation/ management methods. The trips were to Jalna and Yavatmal districts of the north eastern part of Maharashtra. We hope that with these visits and the contacts made, we will be able to introduce traditional and appropriate water conservation/ management methods that would increase the water availability for the farmers in the region.

Also during this month, we re-started the course on beauty care. A new lady staff has joined the organization to conduct this course. This will be a 3 month course that will specifically build skills of rural women on bridal make-up. The trained young women will be able to gain some additional incomes during the wedding “season” generally from October to February.

In February-March, we also trained 30 women on fashion design and dress making. This was an intensive 5-week course to impart fashion design skills to those who have basic tailoring skills.

Last week, we distributed groceries to 205 elderly destitute women. As usual, the community members donated grains from their harvest. With the support of a volunteer doctor, we were also able to conduct a health camp and distribute free medicines to those who required. This was of great benefit to many as the nearest doctor is sometimes 15 kms away and very difficult to access with the lack of public transportation.

On the 12th and 13th of April , we had a prominent guest in our organization – Dr. Rajendra Singh ( ). He is known as the waterman of India who has turned the deserts of Rajasthan to forests. He held discussions with our farmers, staff and volunteers on water conservation/ management techniques. Below are few pictures of his visit and our exposure visits.


A section of the crowd listening to Dr. Rajendra Singh


The maps of the villages selected for water conservation/ management is presented to Dr. Rajendra Singh


Dr. Rajendra Singh admires the diverse seeds conserved by the local communities and exhibited at the IIRD campus in Bidkin


Dr. Rajendra Singh, known as the waterman of India and the recipient of Magsaysay award interacting with staff and some guests on the water conservation/ management plans in the villages of Aurangabad.


A farmer member of the Water Management Group in Dhangarwadi village of Yavatmal district (in Maharashtra state) explaining to the staff and Paani sevaks/ Sevikas of IIRD on the management of water that is conserved using the traditional phad and doh methods.

Paani sevikas sevaks in jalna exposure visit

Paani Sevaks / Sevikas (water volunteers) at an exposure visit in Jalna district to learn about the benefits of countour trenches in water conservation/ management.


Dr. Rajendra Singh, known as the waterman of India and the recipient of the Ramon Magasaysay award, interacts with staff and field level volunteers of IIRD on water conservation/ management methods.