Restoring Rajasthan

Lakshman Singh’s ingenious method of rain water harvesting has made Laporia, a small village near Jaipur drought proof and poverty free. Starting in his home village, Singh has spread the idea to over 200 other villages benefitting more than 350000 people.

By Anita Pratap

Chauk method of ground water recharging

Chauk method of ground water recharging

Lakshman Singh and his friends in Laporia used ‘Chauk’ method of ground water recharging. A series of bunds, channels and pits are dug over a 5Km stretch in a checker board like pattern, following the natural slope of land. Rain water flows slowly across the Chauka system resulting in the retention of top soil and increase in moisture content. This also helps in recharging ground water.

The broken bund (mud embankment) was emblematic of all that was wrong with laporia. The inhabitants of this arid village in an arid district in India’s most arid state, Rajasthan, were dirt poor. They were malnourished, wore torn clothes and rarely washed. Soap, they could not afford. Nor sugar or milk in their tea. Many went to bed hungry every night. Diseases and illnesses went untreated, because there were no medicines. Children remained illiterate. Cattle died or thirst. Upper and lower castes crumbling property, dragging relatives to court.

The root cause of Laporia’s misery was acute water scarcity.

Read how Lakshman Singh transformed Laporia at ProPoor News.

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