Impact of Bajaj Water Conservation Project in Village Paryanti, Tal. Man, Dist. Satara (Maharashtra)

         Mr. Shankar Shriram Aatpatkar is a member of water conservation committee of village Paryanti. He is famous in the area with the pet name Appa. Since the beginning of Bajaj Water Conservation Project Appa was actively participating in project planning, decision making meetings, awareness among the villagers, monitoring on the soil and water conservation work, promotion of the villagers for Shramdan etc. The first project planning meeting was also held on the Appa’s farm. Thus, he is very co-operative and leading village resource person in the project.

          In November 2017, before the initiation of the project there was severe drought in the area. The water wells and the farm ponds were totally dried up. The people were wondering in search of drinking water as well as fodder for their livestock. The Zilpa parishad, various NGOs, individuals, corporate sectors rushed towards this drought prone area for supplying water tankers and fodder trucks. Some of them established the fodder camps for cattle in the area.  Appa was one of the witnesses of that situation. Who was also suffered from the same situation and was struggling to save his grape orchard along with his family and livestock. In such horrible situation Bajaj Water Conservation Project – A dreamer of happiness was initiated by A NGO – Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal (SJSM), Satara in the drought prone area of Man block covering the Appa’s village Paryanti. Appa was fed up with this annual drought prone situation. So he has taken keen interest in the project. Since November 2017 onwards along with the social, livelihood and agriculture development activities the soil and water conservation treatments like deep SCT, Gabian structures, loose boulder structures, Nala deepening and widening, construction of ENB & CNB, plantation etc; were carried out to reduce the soil erosion and to increase the water table of the area. With the continuous three years efforts the radical change was observed in the area including village Paryanti. The ground water level gets increased and the wells in the area get brimful with water.

        As like other villagers Appa is also get benefitted with the project. The soil water conservation treatments along the hill side and excavation of percolation tank nearby the Appa’s field resulted into increased ground water level and a percolation tank along with the Appa’s Well is with brimful with water. He used the excavated soil from nala d & W on 30 guntha of his barren land to transform into cultivable land and cultivated 250 seedlings of pomegranate along with the intercrops on it. He shared Rs. 15,000 /- as a 50 % contribution for the micro irrigation scheme and established the scheme on 30 guntha pomegranate orchard.  The drip irrigation system had a positive effect on crop production Appa is the first farmer who introduced the cultivation of grapes in the area. Before the initiation of project he has only grape orchard only on 20 guntha but now he has extended it on 1 acre with 400 grape vines. Along with this Appa is also cultivating the crops like Jowar, Bajara, green gram, maize, groundnut, onion and vegetables on 2 hectors of lands and still he has 1 hector of waste lands.

        Due to availability of sufficient water & MIS facilities for water savings through BWCP he has established household animal husbandry unit including 1 cow, 2 buffalos, 3 female calves and 8 goats. Now he is getting the sufficient fodder from the agriculture crops and cow dung as a fertilizer for the crops. Thus, Appa is getting sufficient aggregate income from agriculture as well as from his animal husbandry unit. Now the village Paryanti is tanker free and very soon it will be free from annual drought prone situation due to the Bajaj Water Conservation Project.

Appa with his well

Appa the first farmer who introduced grape orchard in the area.

Appa with Pomegranate and the inter crops

Appa with household Animal husbandry unit

Appa earned agriculture income in the year 2020-21 as given below.

Income earned by Appa in the year 2020-21

Sr. No. Crop Production Income (Rs.)
1
Jowar
14 Quintal
49000
2
Bajara (millet)
7 Quintal
17500
3
Green gram
1 Quintal
7000
4
Ground nut
1.5 Quintal
6000
5
Vegetables
As per requirement Lumsumm
5000
6
Grapes
4 tone
2,00,000
TOTAL
2,84,500