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Transforming Communities towards Sustainability

Sikar, ‘The Door to the Thar Desert’, lies in the northeastern region of the state of Rajasthan. 76.32 per cent of the population lives in a rural area. The district experiences extremes in climate, with a very dry summer and intensively cold winters. The average maximum and minimum temperatures are recorded as 48o C and 0o C respectively. An average rainfall of 466 mm makes it one of the most water-scarce districts of Rajasthan. Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of the area. Dairy farming is also common among the more progressive farmers.


Unregulated use of natural resources affected the livelihood of the agrarian community of Sikar district. Bajaj Foundation has identified priority issues that include deteriorating groundwater, desertification, climate change, excessive use of chemicals in farming, traditional and high-water intensive cropping pattern, low awareness about water quality and usage and less awareness on small agro-based livelihood. Bajaj Foundation in close consultation with the local community, has identified ecologically sustainable, economically remunerative, socially and culturally managed integrated community development interventions.


Richhpal is a resident of village Sihot Chotti where the water crisis is one of the crises identified in the village. Most of the borewells in the area are defunct and the average groundwater table has gone down to 270 ft. Our team advised Richhpal and his neighbours to recharge the borewell and also construct a roof rainwater harvesting system for drinking purpose. Richhpal constructed an RRWHS of 25,000-litre capacity. After the RRWHS got filled, the excess water of Ricchapl’s place and his neighbour's roof water was diverted for recharging the borewell.


During the year, the village received an annual rainfall of 4500 mm. The total catchment area is 6,572 sq. ft. which harvested 2,87,400 litres of water for recharging. The collective decision of families for harvesting each drop of rainwater falling on the rooftops of surrounding houses enabled villagers to meet their water requirement.