Background: The Jal Dal initiative in Godawas village (Barmer district) of Rajasthan has demonstrated the impact of a community driven initiative in terms of resource management.
About Jal Dal Initiative
- Prior situation in Godawas village
- The Government School in Godawas experienced poor enrolment and attendance rates, due to lack of availability of drinking water.
- Children had to help their mothers fetch water from distant places and suffered from problem of water access.
- The Jal Dal intervention:
- Gram Panchayat of the village constructed a tank in school, took up enlargement of village pond and created a Jal Sabha in the village.
- To ensure maintenance of the newly constructed tank, a student body of 10 members called Jal Dal was constituted, which took the responsibility of cleaning the roof and ensuring clean water in the tank.
- The school children were also involved in environment conservation drives and in disseminating information about water stress to the villagers.
- Further, students also started a piggy bank in which students from higher classes contribute for maintenance of tank and for purchasing of water during times of scanty rainfall.
- Impact of intervention:
- Education: It has positively impacted education in the region and has yielded a growth in literacy rate.
- Low school dropout rate: There has been a noticeable fall in the school dropout rate and attendance has become more consistent.
- Reduction in water-borne diseases: Incidences of water borne diseases have reduced; clean water is available throughout the year for the village.
- Self reliant: The village has become self-reliant and is now no longer dependent on pricey water tanks to fulfill their water requirements.
- The Jal Dals provide an excellent example of volunteerism and community service, enabling children to learn about water management practices through hands on experiences.
- It also puts forward an instance of uniting the school administration and students to work together to ensure that every child gets access to clean water and right to education.