“SAY NO TO DROUGHT” A one-day workshop on “Drought Management” was held on 23rd of June, 2012 at Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Jaipur.Organized by – ANAVARAT SANSTHAN, JAIPUR.

A one-day workshop on “Drought Management” was held on 23rd of June, 2012
at Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Jaipur.

The workshop which was attended by more than 30 NGO representatives, social workers, and students along with subject experts in the subject focused on Global and Regional Vegetation Health system estimating vegetation conditions, health and the related products, Drought Indices and Data, Drought preparedness in rural areas. The workshop also addressed the aspects related to cost and effects of drought and Agricultural productivity. Ms. Neeti Dixit represented Malkolak Knowledge Centre, Hyderabad.

The Session Sighlighted

To develop more awareness and ways to fight against drought.
To understand reasons for drought condition – One of the reasons could be Mountain ranges of Aravali being parallel to the monsoon winds limiting the rainfall. The second being Alino effect also affecting the monsoon in the state.
To learn from other nations as to how they are able to mitigate similar situation – for e.g; Israel’s capability to learn the impact of the drought.
A proper recording of drought related statistics could help tackle the situation.- In Rajasthan drought statistics are recorded manually by Patwaris of Gram Panchayats who report to the zila parishad which is shared with the government.
Drought related maps show that some parts in western Rajasthan face drought every 3 years and some parts of nagour, tonk and ajmer districts face drought every four year of period and districts Bharatpur and Dholpur once in eight years. The state had round to 42 years of drought in last 100 years.
Few water bodies like Keoledao sanctuary in Bharatpur also dried down and now water from Yamuna is brought to rescue it.
Rehabilitation and involvement of local people in planning and coping with the drought situation is essential.
A control system at the village level should be developed to fight against the drought.
The next session addressed Drought planning, preparedness and mitigation efforts at the national, regional and local levels. The workshop coordinator, Mr. Priyesh Pradhan and Mr. Harish Sambhriya conducted a group discussion on the topic. Participants stressed on the importance of remote sensing system that could be help in studying the impact of drought, presence of water bodies and other topographical features of the region.

Participants’ viewpoint :

Involving youth and students in a systematic manner.
Benefits of managing the drought should be conveyed to the villagers so that they take interest in supporting such initiatives
Benefits of drought management should be linked with the careers of the youths
Panchayat bodies should develop structures like Morwari which helps to hold water in the fields.
Mutual cooperation of villagers is essential to take such initiatives
Self help group members should be encouraged to take up schemes like apna khet apne yojana’’.
Rehabilitation and involvement of local people in planning and coping with the drought situation is essential.
Area specific research in the field of water harvesting should be undertaken.
Suitable crops could be raised as per the availability of water such as mustard and millets etc.
Pond de-silting programs could be taken up at every village level.
Survey related to water harvesting bodies at the village level could be done.
Survey related to extinction of water bodies should be done at the district level
Existence of various encroachment structures in the path of water must be studied.
Recharge of water bodies and underground reservoirs by digging wells and similar structures like baoris and tanks for enhancing drought management plan at each village level could be taken up.
Famine code of 1962 should be placed in the state which is very effective to tackle the problem associated with the drought situation.

Based on the discussions with the participants few villages were selected for future study and work. Blocks Phagi and Sambhar which are very dry need to be studied for future programs related to drought management.