Jal Sahelis changing the destiny of drought prone Bundelkhand

Jhansi: Keeping in view the efforts of women in water conservation, for the first time the Central Government has honored women.

Jal Sahelis of Lalitpur, Jhansi and Chhatarpur were honored by President Droupadi Murmu and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Jalsaheli Sharda Devi of Lalitpur and Ganga Devi of Chhatarpur were given Swachh Swajal Shakti Samman by the President at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi and Geeta Devi of Jhansi was given Water Warriors Samman by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Sanjay Singh, secretary of Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan said women in the country have come forward for water conservation only after being inspired by Jal Sahelis.

Jal Saheli started a decade ago and now its impact is visible. Today, more than 1100 Jal Sahelis are working in the field of water conservation in 7 districts of the country.

Inspired by the works of Jal Saheli, now other women across the country are also making efforts for water conservation. Women will be inspired and join the campaign of water conservation by getting respect for Jal Sahelis.

Sanjay Singh’s dream is that at least one Jal Saheli should be active in the field of water conservation in all the villages of Bundelkhand. The institute has been running a campaign for water conservation and promotion in Bundelkhand for a long time through Pani Panchayat and Jal Saheli.

Sharda of Vijaypura village, Talbehat, Lalitpur started a campaign to make the dry Barua river watery in her village and made a check dam by filling sand in empty gunny bags. Sharda says that only men used to take decisions in the house, there was also a curtain, but despite everyone’s opposition, we came out and built a check dam by connecting more than three dozen women of the village with us.

Ganga Devi of Chaudharykhera village of Badamlehra block of Chhatarpur, fighting superstition to bring water to her village, watered the dry pond. She says that there was a belief that whoever tries to bring water to the pond, her lineage will be destroyed, but we thought it was better to die than to have no water. We prepared more than two dozen women of the village and excavated the dilapidated pond. After the rain, now the pond is full, due to which the whole village is getting water.

Geeta, a resident of Manpur village of Jhansi Babina block, has also received the honour. Jal Saheli Geeta took the responsibility of repairing the outlet of the Chandelkalin pond of her village and with the help of the organization, fixed the outlet so that the water stopped in the pond. Now irrigation is done in his village from this pond.

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