Social Development

Rajasthan is the drought prone area of the country so the government makes the mitigation strategy for drought through water management. Solar policy has also started in the state. An older person of the villages is involved in local healthcare practices of other villagers and gives the important knowledge about the local medicines.

Water Resources in Udaipur

The main sources of households’ water in the region are wells and hand pumps but majority of them are in a dysfunctional state. Government water supply is completely absent, Ground water level going down due to over digging of rock phosphate mines. Surface water resources of the area are represented by the streams and Small River, which dried since last 4-5 year due to severe drought.

Drought Mitigation Strategy

Special emphasis on Water Management Strategy:

  • Rainwater harvesting and Watershed Management
  • Artificial recharge of ground water
  • Pricing of water
  • Early completion of ongoing projects
  • Watershed development
  • Strategy based on Agro-Climatic Regional Planning
  • Water Management in Irrigated Agriculture
  • Cropping pattern

Multiple stressors on livelihoods and role of local knowledge in designing adaptation options:

S.N. Livelihoods capitals Multiple and interacting stressors that erode capital assets Local knowledge for identification and selection of potential adaptation options
1 Physical capital Drought, floods, conflicts, property loss due to disasters •Integration of traditional and scientific knowledge to understand, predict and respond to climatic and other change;•Traditional weather forecasting to respond to monsoon variability•Traditional architecture for people and their livestock
2 Natural capital Water scarcity, water pollution, pest incidence, deforestation, over exploitation (over-grazing, destructive harvest), habitatdegradation, habitat destruction,environmental degradation, poverty, disasters, insecure land tenure, population growth, fragmentation of land-holdings, frost, hailstorms •Managing water and forests through local rulemaking, local monitoring and local enforcement•Management of commons (Orans, Gauchars, water-bodies)•Use of crop varieties and landraces and mixes that provide yields in a variable climate•Traditional soil and moisture conservation•Allocation of pasture for livestock grazing•Revival of local practices with inputs from science (Agro forestry, Oran’s, Gauchars, Sacred groves, Khadins, Johads, woodcarving etc.) across landscape (households, villages, agro ecosystems, wilderness)•Ethno-veterinary medicines for livestock
3 Financial capital Market failures, market shocks,price volatility, globalization,indebtedness, financial insecurity •Local institutions based on trust, reciprocity and local rules for managing risks for community-based interventions•Artisanal knowledge to produce goods that have a global market (e.g., woodcarving, camel-wool products, pickles of wild-fruits) to diversify incomes
4 Social capital Conflicts, social strife, famine •Risk distribution through social networks•Local institutions based on trust, reciprocity and local rules for managing risks•Mechanisms for communication andparticipation as local knowledge meets the criteria of salience, credibility, and legitimacy•Minimizing the risks of top-down approach, and thus maladaptive outcomes, by using context specificvalidated traditional knowledge•Insights into social differentiation of vulnerability and adaptation, including socially conditioned responses to external stressors
5 Human capital Illness, mortality, morbidity, famine, food insecurity •Use of herbal coolants and dryland fruits•Ethno-veterinary medicines•Use of local varieties and landraces and mixes that provide yields in a variable climate, and ensure food security

Solar Policy 2011

The policy aims to establish Rajasthan as a National leader in solar energy in phased manner by creating the policy framework for promoting use of solar energy in various applications. Various incentives provided under the policy by the State Government are as follows:

Exemption from Electricity Duty: The energy consumed by the power producers for own use will be exempted from payment of electricity duty.

Grant of Incentives available to industries: Generation of electricity from Solar Power Plants shall be treated as eligible industry under the schemes administered by the Industries Department and incentives available to industrial units under such schemes shall be available to the Solar power producers.

Availability of water for Power Generation: Water Resource Department will allocate required quantity of water from Indira Gandhi Nahar Project (IGNP) canal or the nearest available source for development of Solar Thermal Plants subject to the availability of water for power generation.

Power producer will intimate estimated water requirement to RREC along with source of water. After assessment/scrutiny, case of water requirement shall be forwarded to the Water Resource Department. The modification(s) required, if any, in the existing canal system shall be done by the Water Resource Department at the cost of the power producer.

Traditional System of Medicine

Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti (JJVS), an NGO established in 1985, focuses on the socio-economic improvements of the rural and tribal communities in Rajasthan, India. The organization is based in Udaipur and operates in tribal villages of southern Rajasthan while expanding its activities related to promotion of traditional system of medicines in 7 states. JJVS works towards upliftment of the socio-economic conditions of the less fortunate communities through its two main programmes: Traditional System of Medicine and Community Development.

Some Important Initiatives Taken by Govt. of Rajasthan

  • Drought Management Manual replacing the famine code of the year 1962 has been prescribed.
  • Apda Prabhandan Evam Sahayata Nirdeshika giving detailed operational procedures have been issued.
  • For creating sustainable drought proofing infrastructure dovetailing method with other programmes and schemes has been adopted.
  • To ensure participation of individual beneficiaries dovetailing of labour component has been allowed for creation of assets for social and drought mitigation needs.
  • Prescribed nature of relief works is to be taken up on priority while providing labour employment.
  • For transparency, system of social audit has been made compulsory.
  • For effective supervision and monitoring of relief activities in drought affected areas Minister In charge for each district has been designated.
  • For inspection, coordination and supervision secretary incharge of each district has been designated

Older people and traditional knowledge

In Rajasthan, India, GRAVIS noted that older people have invaluable knowledge on traditional water harvesting technologies. ‘Storing every drop of rain is the best option that we have to survive in this desert,’ says a 75 year old person.

Village elders, living in communities experiencing chronic drought, were credited with the development of simple but effective structures such as the Khadin (dyke), Taanka (underground water storage tank), Beri (shallow percolation well) and Naadi (community pond) – structures which are still in use today. A Khadin helps retain rainwater in agricultural lands and thus increases crop productivity. A Taanka stores rainwater and provides a source of drinking water for humans and cattle for many months. All these traditional technologies have played a very important role in the survival of drought-impacted communities in the Thar – the world’s most populated desert.

Traditional drought management strategies

Water has been harvested in India since antiquity. Evidence of this tradition can be found in ancient texts, inscriptions, local traditions and archaeological remains. A mere description of the known hydraulic structures spread throughout the country would require lot of time and pages. There is some evidence of advanced water harvesting systems even from pre-historic times. The Puranas, Itihasas ( Ramayana and Mahabharata) and various Vedic, Buddhist and Jain texts contain several references to water, its importance in life, livelihood and management systems and structures, namely, canals, tanks, embankments, wells and large number of local names.10 Khadins, tanks, nadis and Johads in Rajasthan, bandharas and tals in Maharashtra, bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, ahass and pynes in Bihar, kuhls in Himachal Pradesh, ponds in the Kandi belt of Jammu region, and eris in Tamil Nadu, surangams in Kerala, kattas in Karnataka are some of the ancient water harvesting, including, including water conveyance, structures still in use today. Traditional systems are specific response to ecology and culture in which they are evolved and satisfied certain local needs in an environment friendly manner. Traditional systems have benefited from collective human experience since time immemorial and in that lies their biggest strengthen. They are based on the sound principles of ecological conservation in contrast to environmental overuse of modern systems.

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Older people and traditional KnowledgeWater Resource in Udaipur