Jal Sahelis turn saviour for Madhya Pradesh’s drought-hit Bundelkhand

Tikamgarh: A women’s group ‘Jal Saheli’ is engaged in water conservation for Bundelkhand, that is facing the issue of migration due to continuous drought. The 400-member group of women is running a campaign to save water in more than 100 villages of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Hamirpur, Jalaun of Uttar Pradesh and Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh.

Water situation is the most worrisome in these districts. The Jal Sahelis have worked on over 25 ponds and succeeded in filling them with water.

These Jal Sahelis have totally changed the scenario of 60 village panchayats of Hamirpur, Jalaun and Lalitpur. They solved the problem of drinking water by getting the hand pumps repaired, constructing water tanks, laying pipelines and through other measures.

Jal Sahelis are deepening ponds

Now these Jal Sahelis are carrying out the work of deepening of about 50 ponds of Lalitpur, Hamirpur and Tikamgarh with public support. The goal is to fill the ponds in the coming rainy season to the brim.

The Jal Saheli group has urged to be given the responsibility of grooming and deepening the ponds of Chandel era in Bhopal. However, the decision on this is yet to be taken.

Jal Saheli Group started eight years ago

Eight years ago, in 2011 the Parmarth Seva Sansthan had started a women’s empowerment project on water with the help of the European Union following which water panchayats were formed in the village. Around 15 to 25 women got placed in each Panchayat.

Two women were made Jal Sahelis to promote water, sanitation and natural water management. Ever since, women have continued to join the group.

Training of women in Rajendra Singh’s Sanstha

Project Manager Shivani Singh said that selected Jal Sahelis are sent to water and environmental activist Rajendra Singh’s institute located in Alwar, Rajasthan for training.