In a most recent development, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan has witnessed a major breakthrough in their advocacy efforts for promoting community-based water conservation initiatives in rural India. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) – the apex educational body in India has included a series of successful initiatives of Parmarth in water conservation in the Bundelkhand region to be part of the syllabus for students from sixth to eight classes.
Parmarth’s community water conservation initiatives and in particular the concept ‘Jal Sahelis’ (Women Water Friends) find the prestigious place in the Indian textbooks. The good practices are part of the textbook ‘Geography of India’ and will be taught to the students from the upcoming sessions.
Parmarth has been tirelessly working on issues related to water and water conservation in the drought prone region of Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for more than 25 years. During this period, Mr. Anil Singh – Director and Dr. Sanjay Singh, Secretary of the organization, have created sustainable water models in more than 100 villages of Bundelkhand. The organization has also formed Pani Panchayat – a village level committee that addresses issues related to water management, conservation, planning and accessing government entitlements in every village.
Besides, it has created an amazing model of Jal Sahelis who are trained women volunteers working on issues related to water resource planning, management and conservation. Currently, 776 Jal Sahelis are actively associated with Parmarth. These Jal Sahelis consistently work for the conservation and revival of ponds, ensures maintenance of hand pumps by removing its minor faults and constant supply of drinking water to the villagers. Apart from this, they also work for protection of old water structures and construction of new water structures. During the regular meetings organized by Pani Panchayat, the Jal Sahelis prepare water budget with community participation and helps in conducting social audit.
The Jal Saheli model of Parmarth has been recognized and appreciated at national and international levels. Their dedicated team of state coordinators Manvendra Singh, Satish, Santosh are working diligently and earnestly along with Jal Sahelis – Shivani, Sushma, Parvati, Geeta, Lakshmi, Seema, Srikuvar to reach out to hundreds of villages to commence water conservation activities.
Parmarth has also prepared a Drinking Water Security Action Plan which insists and ensures that women should have the first right to water. It has been featured prominently in the Action Plan. The Jal Saheli model and the work of Parmarth have also been honored by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and also by the Union Government.
In the year 2019, the community efforts of water conservation in Bundelkhand by Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan and the work done by Jal Sahelis in the villages were honored by Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister of Jal Shakti Ministry, Government of India.
The recent achievement of Parmarth’s successful water conservation initiatives being included in the educational system will immensely help in creating awareness and understanding among Indian students. Being the future of the country, the children ought to know and learn about water conservation initiatives that are being undertaken in Bundelkhand region of India.