Monday September 23, 2019

Rajasthan’s Ramsar Village becomes self-reliant: Converts 52-hectare Barren land into Lake

The depth of lake is five feet and has a capacity of 4.08 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) for now

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52 hectares of land then and now. Image Source: Thebetterindia.com
  • The 52 hectares of barren land has now been converted into a lake for water conservation purposes
  • The water body is now replenishing the wells of the village and also of the areas located nearby
  • First showers the lake received a good amount of water, which will now be used to recharge the wells that had dried up this summer

AJMER: After sweating hard for almost five months, the residents of Ramsar, a village in Ajmer, Rajasthan have been successful at converting a barren piece of land into a lake for water conservation purposes.

The 52 hectares of barren land near Bhilo ki Basti in Ramsar was previously used as a dumping ground to throw away garbage collected from the areas nearby.

Speaking to Times of India, Ram Singh Rawat of the village, revealed, “There was a water outlet on this land which worked as a channel to Ramsar lake but over a period of time this channel went dry and the land was left barren.”

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However, now filled with water, the water body is replenishing the wells of the village and also of the areas located near the village.

A dried well. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
A dried well. Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Ramsar region received eight inches of water in pre-monsoon rains, which has filled this lake.

According to a TOI report, District collector Gaurav Goyal, who recently went to inspect the work also congratulated the villagers for contributing towards chief minister’s Jal Sawavlamban Abhiyan.

It was the initiation by district administration that inspired the villagers to develop that piece of land into a lake. Also, because that was a low area and so it was an ideal spot to collect rainwater from the nearby areas.

Exhilarated Goyal said TOI, “This barren land was not in use. We took this land to develop a lake and sanctioned Rs 8 lakh for it. Now you can see the results.”

He further explained that the depth of the lake is five feet and has a capacity of 4.08 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) for now.

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He added that during the first showers the lake received a good amount of water, which will now be used to recharge the wells that had dried up this summer.

It is believed that the lake will make the local farmers self-reliant and will also fulfil the drinking water needs.

Kailash Kumawat, a farmer, explained, “Initially we thought that the administration wanted us to work under MGNREGA and wanted to pay us. We have nothing to do in summer months and so came out to dig the land. But to our pleasant surprise now we have water in our well.”

Brimming with optimism villagers are already sowing seeds and are certain that they will get water for irrigation on time.

-This article is modified by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    It is really a good idea to convert a barren land into a lake. It will provide employment to the people and will help in utilising the land judiciously.

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Unique Cross-Cultural Experience In The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival

The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience

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Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the Jodhpur RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The desert of Rajasthan is home to a plethora of folk arts, and public festivals celebrating these folk forms are growing by the day. One such event, the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), in its 12th edition between October 10 and 14, will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience.

The Jodhpur RIFF, as it is called, takes place annually at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and is curated by Divya Bhatia, who feels music events or festivals are “among the few forums left that allow for a joyful, shared experience for all, irrespective of background or social standing. One needs no prior knowledge or understanding to lose oneself in the art form, he added.

Bhatia also gave IANS a sneak peek into the lineup of the upcoming festival. “We have a new thrust on original and contemporary writing in the regional traditions and will be exploring some new lyrics and poetry from Rajasthan and Punjab,” he said.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The festival will also feature a collaboration between Rajasthani and Irish musicians and new work with Ballake Sissoko from Senegal, with the Authentic Light Orchestra from Switzerland and with the master of the Armenian duduk, Emmanuel Hovhannisyan.

Yissy Garcia from Cuba will be at the gala as first woman ‘Rustler’ — an artiste who collaborates with musicians of diverse forms. Ghatam maestro and Grammy-winning Vikku Vinayakram is also scheduled to perform, along with a performance by wonderful Punjabi singer Bir Singh, Afrobrat DJ Jose Marquez and some legendary Rajasthani music.

“Jodhpur RIFF recognises and celebrates our Rajasthani intangible heritage. Moreover, it creates opportunities and facilitates the judicious use of resources for the revitalisation of this heritage – providing inspiration, engagement and livelihood for traditional artists.

ALSO READ: A Visit to The Magnificent Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

“Today, because of the festival, our international collaborations and presentations across the world, Jodhpur RIFF has become the consistent single largest employer of Rajasthani folk musicians,” said Bhatia.

Does he find folk musicians stable and secure in their practice and livelihood?

“Folk musicians across India can do with much more stability and security. As listeners, I would encourage us to learn about them, discover them, buy their music, invite them to perform for us and attend all their live concerts,” he said. (IANS)