Water conservation plan for improved agriculture in Tamil Nadu

Agriculture has always been regarded as the backbone of Indian economy. However, today farmers of the country make news for high suicide rates, poverty and non-payment of loans. All these are direct results of unreliable rains due to climate change. Some steps towards water conservation can change the scenario for the farmers, as well as for all of us.

This realization led some youngsters from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to launch a state-wide movement to help the farmers. They believe that every individual in the society is accountable for the farmers’ plight. Their movement, started under the aegis of Thamizha Foundation, aims to help reduce the suicide rates of farmers. The ultimate ambition is to enable change as part of the state’s legislature.

The youngsters, who identify themselves as a group of common men, involve themselves in many activities. They get down and dirty to clean the villages and cities they live in. They paint and beautify structures that dot these settlements as eyesores.

Volunteers of Thamizha (which translates to ‘of Tamil’) consist of kids, adults and senior citizens. Some volunteers live outside the state, some outside the country. However, all of them are united in their desire to contribute to the state’s development and improving lives of farmers.

In the city of Coimbatore, they have partnered with Kovai Kulangal Pathukappu Amaippu (KKPA), another citizen-driven movement. The partnership concerns an ambitious water conservation project in the city. This will include cleaning the water bodies, connecting all the natural sources of water and rainwater harvesting.

Volunteers of the two non governmental organizations have already done some primary cleaning and de-weeding activities. Since February, the teams have cleaned Perur Periya Kulam Lake, Perur Selva Chintamani Lake and Vellalore lake. This was possible with the help of around 400 volunteers from all over Coimbatore district.

However, further cleaning activities will require certain high-end equipment and skilled manpower. These include cleaning a couple of check dams, de-silting and widening another and cleaning one.

Thamizha is looking for some monetary support for this project. You can contribute to their efforts by donating to their fundraiser.