This Telangana village is beating to fight drought
This is the story of a pond which had a glorious past. Once, it was the mainstay for irrigating the fields in its vicinity. But, about 8 years ago, it had dried up completely, pushing the farmers into troubles. All of them collectively took a pledge to bring it back to its original shape. Let’s how they achieved …
In Telangana, the farm ponds, which were the mainstay for farming in the past, are now supporting only 15% of the cultivation, as most of them shrunk in area, and piled up with silt.
The Pavoni Pond of Mucherla Village in Kandukuru Mandal of Ranga Reddy District, which was dug in 100 acres during the Nizam’s regime, too dried up completely and was piled up with silt. When the pond was in full spate, more than 90 acres of land used to be irrigated in its basin, benefitting forty farmers directly and several others indirectly. For their livelihood, a large number of fishermen used to depend on the pond. However, due to continuous dry spell, gradually the pond dried up, leaving here and there, only small patches of water. Though the village, as a whole decided to clear off the silt and restore the pond, they were worried about the huge expenditure involved. At that situation, the government officials came to their rescue and gave assurance for taking up the work under ‘Employment Guarantee’ scheme.
In 2013, more than 750 villagers worked hard for about 388 days. Their efforts did not go waste. Soon they all became happy as the pond regained its original appearance.
These are the gains:
- After clearing the pond they reused the silt soil in their farms. Thereby, the fields became very fertile and are giving high yield, without using any fertilisers.
- Due to the availability of abundant water vegetables farming increased, and thereby villagers could get nutritious food. The per-capita income of the people increased considerably. Even in summer there is no dearth of water for cattle.
- “Due to silt clearance water storage capacity in the pond increased, and in turn this helped the water table to rise in the nearby areas, facilitating several dry bores to recharge. By spreading the silt soil in the fields its yielding capacity too increased,” says Mr. Narsimha, Sarpanch of Mucherla village Panchayat.
- Though, the ponds dried up this year due to less rainfall, the humidity in the soil did not reduce. Thus, all the farmers saved the village from drought with their collective decision.