JalTara - A breakthrough approach by The Art of Living for the farmers of India to overcome Agricultural Water Crisis

BENGALURU, India, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- With a population of 600 million people dependent on agricultural activities for their sustenance, water scarcity isn't a shocking devastation per se. Aggressive pumping and overuse of water facilities without proper management is undoubtedly a recipe for disaster for the farmers, whose livelihood depends upon good crops. As a result, maximum destruction due to untimely droughts and the unavailability of water to foster their crops is faced. Moreover, flooding during rains not only runs off the top productive soil elements but also spoils the crop.

Stemming groundwater is one of the most crucial sources of irrigation and domestic water needs for almost 75% of the total population of India. However, ineffective planning of groundwater management has led to its overexploitation and depletion. Rainwater is the only reservoir that can cater to long term water needs.

JalTara- a coherent approach for India's water crisis

The program- JalTara- a social initiative by the Art of Living foundation under the guidance of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is a mission to tackle the existing crisis of groundwater depletion. The Art of Living JalTara approach is to dig simple recharge structures, 6 feet deep and 4 feet square at the lowest point within every arable acre-plot of rural land in very large numbers (approx. 500 recharge structures per village) to transform hard earth into an absorbent sponge. A dynamic and skillful approach like this is the agenda of the foundation to sow roots in villages and agricultural areas to manage rainwater and make the most out of it.

JalTara is determined to help village communities resolve the water crisis

This process mainly focuses on an individual as well as a community's ability to rejuvenate water resources. The farmers and villagers, who are the backbone of the project, must be taught at more minor levels to take care of their plots comprehensively. Not only will this resolve the problem of water scarcity, but it will also improve the sustenance ability of half the country's rural population.

The three-step approach ensures that the challenge of 'one recharge structure per acre' is fulfilled most effectively. These recharge structures are installed in all the available plots within the arable vicinity, and trees are planted along the recharge structures to prevent soil erosion & help percolate water underground. The main agenda lies in focusing on these smaller units in large numbers. rather than large ineffective ones for water preservation. This enables the rainwater to bypass the topmost layer of ground level and enter the recharge structures to recharge water aquifers.

Valuable interests of JalTara for farmers and villagers

• Increased water availability - There have been crucial additions of millions of litres of water in the areas targeted under this project with significant improvement in water tables, leading to an apparent change in the lifestyle of the villagers.

• Reduced chance of flooding and droughts - After every rain, plots that would generally flood for 15-20 days are now drained of water in just 2-3 days.

• Increased productivity – Productivity has increased with the availability of required water for crop sustenance and spoilage due to flooding has also descended to the lowest, leaving the farmers with the joy of sowing more than one crop to increase their income.

• Scalability and spread of the advantage - Farmers start to feel a sense of ownership of the recharge structures installed on their plots, they share the benefits of the same with the neighbouring fields in the vicinity, and the impact of the project increases manifold just with this variability.

• Good Health and sanitation benefits - With significant knowledge of water conservation and its importance, villagers have been able to understand the importance of water health by controlling water pollution and managing water waste.

This project's poignant efforts and skills have led to an impeccable achievement in the vicinities of Maharashtra and other numerous villages with water shortages. With an inoculant structure of water preservation to safeguard the interests of farmers and villagers, the relentless efforts of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living foundation, have made a mark and will continue to do so shortly.

About Art of Living – Social Projects

The Art of Living JalTara under the guidance of world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is solving India's looming water crisis & eradicating water poverty.

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