The arid climatic region of Thar Desert has been known for extremes of temperatures, scanty rainfall, peculiar type of vegetation, high wind velocity and intense solar radiation. According to climatologists, the projected climate change would deplete the state of its natural resources like surface and ground water availability, soil resources, crop yields, and also decline in forest and pasture land ecosystem thus exposing agriculture and livestock to the harshness of climate, and food insecurity. Proper mitigating measures have to be taken care to prepare the community in order to cop up the climatic shifts. GRAVIS, working since 1983, in Rajasthan, in the Thar Desert region, has been playing a major role in upheaval the rural structure so as make them more sustainable.
Every year, prior to rains in the region, the organization conducts several programmes on sustainable agriculture maintenance and water security in the concerned regions. Recently, in Sohanpura and Netasar villages of Pokhran Tehsil of Jaisalmer district training programmes were conducted on 28/06/2016 & 27/06/2016 respectively, which comprised of information dissemination regarding high yielding crop production which can sustain arid region. Benefits of mixed cropping were taught to be in practice to maintain the natural essence of soil and to avoid soil erosion. We distributed seeds which can grow in arid region and can prove to be fruitful for good crop yield in the region. Some of the innovative agricultural practices were taught to the farmers and villagers in the training programme. These training programmes help the villagers in gaining the new strategies of cultivation in arid region. Techniques like seeds preservation, natural production of crops, less usage of pesticides, usage of bio gas as khaad, were taught. In Sohanpura village, veterinary camp was also organised on 29/06/2016 wherein free of cost vaccination was provided to the livestock, by their treatment, their health was ensured so that they can be part of income generation to the concerned households.
Another, major work done by GRAVIS is on water security in the concerned districts, is the constructing and maintenance of Khadins, Nadis, community tankas, beris, and other water collection units in the concerned areas.
GRAVIS at field
Monsoon also brings the fear of water borne diseases with it. Therefore, GRAVIS conducts pre and post health programmes in the community twice a month, to keep a tab on health risks in the community. GRAVIS hospital organised these health programmed, annually in the district and provide expert advice, insights and experiences of health in the community.
Monsoon plays an integral role in human life, specially, in Thar, which has mostly rain- fed agriculture, as the area receives rainfall from South west monsoon which starts from June-August, causing high humidity in the month of August. Due to high wind velocity, the state receives irregular rains, which sometimes causes floods, e.g., in 2016, rains which created unprecedented havoc in the district, in Barmer district. With all the challenges, life presents in Thar, monsoon is an important contributor and GRAVIS works on ensuring that the communities get the best out of the rainy season.
*by GRAVIS team