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Rural Development v1

Watershed management, water storage development


Agriculture is the most important sector in Indian economy accounting for 18% of India GDP and provides employment to more than 50% of the countries workforce. The state of Maharashtra ranks at 4th position in contributing to India’s economy in terms of agriculture. In India around 100 million people were on front lines of a nationwide water crisis in 2019.

During the year 2018-19, the Government of Maharashtra declared drought in 155 counties in Maharashtra State. Specifically villages near Aurangabad, Beed, Jalna and Ahmednagar which comprise of around 10 million people were facing severe drought situation. The reason behind this is water scarcity of agriculture water as well as drinking water. In some parched villages once every 8 to 10 days tankers supply drinking water. But this temporary water supply is not enough for the villagers. For the key reliance on water, women exhaust ample time and health to supply these needs. Women and even school going children have to make several trips in a day to gather and transport water. These walking trips can usually be an average 10 miles a day, carrying at least 3 to 5 gallons every trip.

Due to scarcity of agriculture water, the crop gets affected and villages have seen mass migration of people from their village to a greener part in search of jobs. Crop being the basis of rural economy, efforts must be done to come up with a long term permanent solution to this problem and avoid water scarcity.

Prabodhini Way

Jnana Prabodhini is trying to solve the problem in a unique way by undertaking some important systematic steps. The meeting between villagers and the volunteering team from Prabodhini acts as the first step in this process. Beforehand, Prabodhini’s team along with government officials, environmental and geological experts survey the land in village and locate the appropriate land to either dig a well or construct embankments.

The meeting is held with the Village Government (Gram Sabha) in which the effectiveness of voluntary contribution which involves physical, mental and financial contributions to the betterment of the community is explained. The idea of raising funds from the village and major involvement of labor from the village is encouraged. Prabodhini’s team focuses on holistic, experiential training program which will develop technical and leadership skills to tackle the issue of drought. Many organizations have initiated competitions for the best watershed management work to incentivize the program. Prabodhini encourages villages to participate in these competitions and ensures that the prize money received is in the name of the village. Prabodhini has a bigger outreach in nearby cities because of its dedicated work to solve problems within India. As raising funds within the village for such programs are not enough, corporate matching programs are also conducted to support the efforts of developing the village.

Thus, Jnana Prabodhini aims to harness the power of communication to mobilize, motivate and train people in this mission to eradicate drought by offering training in scientific watershed management, leadership and community-building. The efforts of villages themselves to eradicate drought has ensured that a water revolution is not far away and Prabodhini would love to act as a catalyst in this movement.


Construction of bore wells, embankments through community involvement is now being done in over 100 villages.

Watershed management is being done on more than 20,000 acres of land with the assistance of Council for Advancement of Rural Technology and Development (CAPART), New Delhi, India.

A non-profit organization has initiated a Water Cup project in order to encourage and motivate villages to apply their training in watershed management. Many villages in Beed, Osmanabad, Ambajogai have received first prize in this competition with amount ranging from USD 0.5 to 1.5 million.

Such a self motivated, work together attitude is turning the barren parched lands into flourishing land laden with crops.

Water resource development:

  • Construction of borewells, embankments through community involvement to tackle severe droughts in over 100 villages in Pune and Beed districts of Maharashtra, India.

  • Watershed development on about 20,000 acres with assistance from the Council for Advancement of Rural Technology and Development (CAPART), New Delhi, India.

  • Watershed development for 137 villages in the Shivaganga and Gunjawani river valleys in Pune district, India which grew into a long term comprehensive development program for the region.

Health Camps


It is well established that teacher capabilities are positively related to student achievement. Recent studies report that two in five teachers in India’s elementary public schools do not possess even a Bachelor’s degree and only about half of these teachers have a professional or graduate degree in education. Studies suggest that the existing framework for professional training does not equip teachers with enough pedagogy skills. Consequently, most teachers struggle in applying their conceptual knowledge and skills to create newer examples, design problems and higher-order learning opportunities to aid their students’ education. As India up-heaves to provide quality education to all, building teacher capabilities is a crucial stepping stone.

Prabodhini Way

JP has implemented multiple programmes in different villages dealing with health issues among all age groups of people. The initial program was on maternal health, as an extension of earlier work of JP in the area. While working with the pregnant mothers (1997), JP realized that they all were mostly subsistence farmers, in precarious financial conditions, most of them indebted to local money lenders. Hence, with the help from Self Help Groups started in 1995, JP started conducting health awareness and checkup programs. Below is the outcome so far and expectations from future projects:

  • Awareness about health care among the masses reflected in increased approach to health services and not neglecting illness for long periods

  • Increased registration of pregnant women

  • Increase in institutional deliveries of pregnant women

  • Identification of existing patients in need of cataract operation, suffering from gynecology issues and cervical cancer

  • Improvement in Hemoglobin level, dental treatment

  • Detection of early cases of cancer based on symptoms and their medical examination


At this stage, more than 320 Self Help Groups with only women members are active, 600+ young mothers have undergone parenting sessions. 30+ age group of women is experiencing health awareness and checkup programs (2000+ per year) consistently for 10 years, in collaboration with different funding organizations. JP has successfully completed the following projects from 2008 to 2017.

  • 1991 to 2003 Mother and Child Care Project.

  • Successful treatment for infertility for 60 cases.

  • Awareness sessions: Ophthalmology, gynecology and Hemoglobin testing.

  • Preventive and actual Health Checkup camps.

  • 5000 women Hemoglobin testing completed.

  • 143 checkup camps to check 8500 pregnant women.

  • 42 pap smear (cervical cancer) checkups camps.

  • Overall health checkup of 1000 people.

  • Eye checkup of 1200+ people from 25 villages and 150 operations.

  • Blood checkups of 3000 people.

  • Ear checkups of 70 people and 14 got operated.

  • Training to local health workers (barefoot doctors).

Awards and recognition

  • Malnutrition Eradication project with govt. (2016).

  • Precision Samajik Krutadnyata Award - Harali Center (2016).

  • Social Development Award - Dept of biotechnology JP Nigdi Center.

  • Millennium- Alliance award.

  • Indian Center Encouraging Excellence award (1975).

  • Fie Foundation Award (1991).

  • Baya Karve Award to Suvarna Gokhale (2016) for rural women empowerment.

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