Community voluntary action for well revival – A watery tale

March 7, 2008

A group of dedicated individuals calling themselves the ‘Nagadala’ have coalesced around the idea of cleaning old wells in Dodballapur, a town near Bangalore. The town suffers from a sever water shortage so the Nagadala asked itself what it could do. It mobilised around Ramanna Bhavi an old step well near a Rama temple. This ell was full of garbage and several attempts were being made to encroach on the land. Gathering every Sunday the Nagadala started to simply clean up the garbage by removing it. Pretty soon it became a big effort with Ayyappa Swamy devotees, the followers of Sri Sri Ravishankar , the Rotary group and others joining in in the mission. The ell too filled up with water uring the rains immediately following the cleaning.

The Nagadala is now focusing on identifying other old wells to be cleaned and also on the ‘Nagarakere’ the town’s lake and has already pitched in with a lot of effort in these works. They now propose to build a medicinal garden near Ramanna Bhavi for old people to take a walk and also relax in the evnings next to the well. For the first time they need money for a fence, about Rs 45,000/-/ How will they raise this fund is the question?

The water literacy has spread extensively amongst the volunteers and quite a few of them have adopted rooftop rainwater harvesting even in the rented houses they live in. These are volunteers who fit into the middle class or even the lower middle class groups and have to battle the economic front as they find time for community efforts such as these. These water warriors truly deserve help.


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