15 Down, 135 to go! Further Steps in our Journey to Alleviate Poverty in the Thar Desert of India

January 2018

The Thar Desert of India is seen as one of the most underdeveloped regions in the world. Spread mainly across the state of Rajasthan, communities within this rural area are faced with chronic and persistent droughts, forcing many to live alongside poverty, illiteracy and poor health. The level of poverty in Thar is linked inextricably to the local environment, where the dry or unirrigated areas see low levels of rainfall which are highly variable. Such conditions mean the proportion of people living in absolute poverty is considerably larger than the national average of India.

Our partnership with Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS) aims to alleviate the state of poverty and improve the health of those within these villages. Through the close relationship that we have formed with GRAVIS over the past 22 years, we have co-designed and implemented many successful projects, improving the lives of many within these rural communities. Since the first day of our journey with GRAVIS, we have developed 1695 Taankas, harvesting over 35 million litres of water. Now, with our next project with GRAVIS underway, 15 Taankas have already been constructed, building towards our project objective of 150 Taankas. Once the development of 150 Taankas has been completed, these Taankas alone will see approximately 3 million litres of water harvested per year, a figure that will advance the lives of many.

Alongside GRAVIS, our project does not only aim to improve the access to water for these individuals in rural communities but to also educate, guide and develop many areas of their lives. With the formation of 20 self-help groups (SHGs), guidance into finance, sanitation, hygiene and many more important aspects of life will be addressed. We aim to not only alleviate the state of poverty within these areas but to work closely with the beneficiaries, helping form a greater perspective for their future. These self-help groups will also teach many on how to use and maintain the Taankas, ensuring the level of harvested water is maximised. In an environment where local communities see between 5-8 days of rain per year, it is crucial that not only the infrastructure is efficient, but the maximum level of water is captured.

With 135 Taankas to go on this project, there will be many more updates on our Thar Desert journey. Check back soon to see how our mission to alleviate poverty in this underdeveloped region is advancing!

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