The Art of Living's Jalyukt 2.0 makes Maharashtra's Water Secure

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BENGALURU, India, June 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In the heartlands of Maharashtra, where rivers are few and agriculture reigns supreme, the farmers rely heavily on groundwater and the monsoon, which means they face constant hardship. To ease their plight, The Art of Living and the Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Government of Maharashtra, signed an MOU in Mumbai on November 26, 2023. By implementing comprehensive measures like Nala Kholikaran and Rundhikaran, which turn nalas into effective water conveyance systems, the handshake seeks to assure water positivity for the state. 

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s inspirational message was clear – Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan 2.0 must offer farmers reliable water supply throughout the year, reducing their vulnerability to the whims of nature. Unlike its predecessor, which primarily focused on water conservation in  22,000 villages, Jalyukt 2.0 shifted its attention to the network of nalas or drainage lines that crisscross 24 districts and 86 talukas of Maharashtra.

During the monsoon from July to September, these nalas serve as conduits for rainwater, channelling it into agricultural fields. However, the very nature of these drainage lines poses a double-edged sword for farmers. While they offer a potential source of water, they also present a risk of flooding, which can devastate crops and livelihoods.

The challenge lies in harnessing rainfall effectively. When substantial rains occur, the nalas fill up quickly, saturating the ground with water. This infiltration process can take several months to complete, ensuring a steady supply of water for farmers until January or February. However, beyond this period, water scarcity becomes a pressing issue, threatening crop yields and farmer incomes.

Central to the agenda of Jalyukt 2.0 is the optimisation of these drainage systems to ensure a consistent water supply for agriculture. One notable example is the extensive desilting work undertaken in Mauda, Nagpur, where 200+ kilometres of nalas were cleared of sediment and debris, benefitting 2,25,000+ villagers. Third-party assessment proved a significant increase in groundwater levels following these desilting efforts, enabling water to flow unimpeded along its intended path and removing the risk of overflow. 

The current ambitious desilting project across 24 districts is supported by government officials and propelled by grassroots cooperation. The Art of Living has already cleared over 10 lakh cubic metres of sediment, a commendable effort aimed at optimising water flow and preventing flooding across 10 districts namely Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Beed, Latur, Solapur, Ahmednagar, and Nandurbar. 

Farmers are intensely grateful to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the government of Maharashtra for their steady support and commitment to solving water related issues. Future plans call for finishing the desilting process by September 15, 2024, with the intention of removing a further 40 lakh cubic metres of silt. 

Over the past decade, The Art of Living has displayed unwavering commitment to Maharashtra among other states, effectively supporting the holistic well-being of farmers.

Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan 2.0 addresses the imminent water crisis while simultaneously nurturing agricultural prosperity.

About The Art of Living Social Projects 

The Art of Living, a non-profit, educational, and humanitarian organisation founded in 1981 by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, works closely with the Government of India to relieve the country from water scarcity through various water conservation projects. 

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