MURTA in a small village in the Osmanabad district, that none of us may have heard of and is located close to the better-known town of LATUR in the drought stricken Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The farmers at Murta have been facing a grim situation. That is thanks to the depleted ground water levels, poor rainfalls over time & their inability to manage their water resources. The rains will come soon. But the farmers will end up in a similar situation like today, unless they have a way to store the run-off water from the rains!
Enter Suryoday Parivar a NGO located in Indore, which has started building unique canals for farmers that allows them to trap rainwater, run offs & leverage this reservoir of water to both water their fields & replenish their ground water tables. In their latest initiative in MURTA, they plan to build an 8 km long canal that runs through & along the fields of the 800 odd farmers & which, hold your breath – they plan to complete in just 15 days! The other benefit of all this digging and excavation is the soil that is pulled out is used as topsoil by farmers in their fields & improves yields. This initiative is the brainchild and is spearheaded by Bhaiyyu Maharaj.
The cost of this 8 km canal is INR 6 Lakhs. The 800 farmer families are contributing 50% of the cost, i.e., Rs. 3 Lakhs from their end, and Suryoday Parivar is leveraging technology & crowdfunding in order to raise the balance Rs. 3 Lakhs.
What has emboldened Suryoday is their first experience of crowdfunding such canals – they started another Rs. 3 Lakhs campaign for a similar canal project on Fueladream.com, and they just finished collecting the same in just 10 days! This has really enthused them to start crowdfunding this Murta canal as well.
Clearly, this is the beginning of a trend of more such initiatives that allow the general population to start impacting rural India and allows NGOs to impact farmers in a manner never envisaged before.