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Report on the interview with Blue hero: Gunvant Sonawane.

Report on the interview with Blue hero: Gunvant Sonawane.

The impending water crisis of India is a situation no one is not strictly aware of. The water activism over the last 5 years is on the rise, rightfully so as India’s water conditions are getting critical day by day. The problem may be moreover serious than the groundwater crisis is the lack of awareness and on ground activities of citizens. The theoretical activism is only relevant when its acted upon and Mr. GunvantSonawane rightfully realized that, forming a background for one very impressive story of water conservation and social aid.

Coming from 10 years of voluntary background of Seva Sahayog, Mr. Sonawane has an active social background for the cause of water conservation in Pune and Jalgaon region. A software engineer, Mr. Sonawane got inspired to start the water conservation movement after seeing the plight of rural women and girls of northern Maharashtra fetching for water in a scorching 40-degree Celsius heat of summer. The water plight not only impacts the health but also social intricacies, often hampering the education of a girl child. All these factors have only inspired Mr. Sonawane to work harder towards this cause of water conservation, starting from the bottoms up.

Tahaan got a chance to have a conversation with this eminent personality and dwell deeper into the on ground realities and implementation strategies for water conservation work on ground.

The real inspiration for Mr. Sonawane to work in water conservation came from a Khandesh village Abhunetanda, where the rate of migration has been increasing significantly over the last few years. The migration generated due to lack of employment often impacts the social security and education of the kids of the workers, where we see an increased number of drop outs. This journey of water conservation started from empathy and the collective good for the children from the villages Abhutenda and Rajmane and quickly resulted in over 130 crore litres of water conservation in over 37 villages, concepts like Nisargabet where the water recharge and forestry inculcated together; “1 village 1 pond” which enabled the community participation for water conservation and awareness regarding the same.

The question arises, if we want to start the water conservation ourselves in our village or locality, how do we navigate around that? Mr. Sonawane answered the question beautifully, by narrating a checklist and necessary points to enable the conservation actions:

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  1. Geology and geography of village and its boundaries: To know the slopes, contours and demographics of the village
  2. Highest catchment area of the village to know the possible sites targeting for water conservation and implement remedy solutions
  3. Involving geologists and engineers to give the technical standpoint of proposed actions.
  1. Calculation of the water budget: water budget entails for the total use and repository of the water available. It is one of the crucial steps before starting the water conservation actions to map the actual use and resources available, to decide the necessary actions.
  2. Creation of blue print of the work required to be is necessary.
  1. To integrate the village panchayat for water literacy, technical knowledge and community participation.
  2. Trainings: Mr. Sonawane has trained people of 37 villages in water conservation with the help of geologists, a scientific training which helps not only to strengthen the conservation ecosystem but also to create localised workforce for operation maintenance of the systems.

Mr. Sonawane has been facilitated and awarded for his exemplary work; by Khandesh Ratna Award, Resident Corporate Social Responsibility Award and Paani Foundation award. We are fortunate to have such water heroes like Mr. Sonawane, who help not only create a water rich future, but act as a pillar of a future self-sustainable society.

  1. Geology and geography of village and its boundaries: To know the slopes, contours and
    demographics of the village
  2. Highest catchment area of the village to know the possible sites targeting for water
    conservation and implement remedy solutions
  3. Involving geologists and engineers to give the technical standpoint of proposed actions.
  4. Calculation of the water budget: water budget entails for the total use and repository of the
    water available. It is one of the crucial steps before starting the water conservation actions
    to map the actual use and resources available, to decide the necessary actions.
  5. Creation of blue print of the work required to be is necessary.
  6. To integrate the village panchayat for water literacy, technical knowledge and community
    participation.
  7. Trainings: Mr. Sonawane has trained people of 37 villages in water conservation with the help
    of geologists, a scientific training which helps not only to strengthen the conservation
    ecosystem but also to create localised workforce for operation maintenance of the systems. Mr. Sonawane has been facilitated and awarded for his exemplary work; by Khandesh Ratna Award,
    Resident Corporate Social Responsibility Award and Paani Foundation award. We are fortunate to
    have such water heroes like Mr. Sonawane, who help not only create a water rich future, but act as a
    pillar of a future self-sustainable society.
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