The root cause of farmers suicides is rarely delved upon both in the print media as well as television. Expensive fertilizers and pesticides that require loans and the resulting depleting soil fertility are at the heart of the small Indian farmers' problems. These constitute an importrant part of the vicious cycle that drives farmers to suicide.
The solution lies in the art and science of harnessing pre-existing systems in nature. These are the very same systems that keep forests alive without anyone having to plough, apply fertilizers, or pesticides. Padmashree Subhash Palekar's workshops teach exactly this and a lot more. Farmers learn how to source material from their own farms and increase the soil fertility and the robustness of each crop. This cuts their input cost to a negligible amount and hence this technique is called Zero Budget Natural Farming. VSA members have been actively volunteering with helping with the logistics of these workshops till now.
This year, VSA is organising one such workshop in December 2016 and is raising funds to minimize the fees to the farmers. Find out how you can contribute here.
Rainwater harvesting with continuous contour trenching (CCT).
Awareness and consultation for residential rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge.
Nadi Swachata (river cleaning): awareness and cleaning drive for Ram nadi.
VSA members have made sure that many of their respective building societies follow good rainwater and ground water recharge practices. Many of these residences now enjoy round the year supply of ground water even during the most severe of droughts.
Without concrete constructions rainwater did seep in to the ground unhindered and recharge the groundwater automatically. Now with ecologically unsound construction practices, rainwater hardly seeps in to the ground. Add to that less rainfall due to climate change and rampant construction of multistory buildings, groundwater is decreasing everywhere as a result. Groundwater recharge just aims to compensate for this buy making sure rainwater is directly sent back to the aquifer.
Groundwater recharge works on the most simple principles.
For example, the average rainfall that Pune receives is about 750mm.
That is equal to 75,000 litres of water per every 1000 sq ft.
You can now easily calculate the number of liters you can receive on the roof of your buildings.