For long term solutions to the shrinking ground water resources and ever expanding soil salinity, Gram Sathi is working for recharging ground water surface and harvesting rainwater though watershed structures over a catchment area of 750 sq. km. in Katoria block in Banka district in Bihar. In 2015-16, with the support of people cooperation, a check dam was constructed at Targahat Joria River that helped in bringing the water to the villages for irrigation purposes. The farmers who have so far doing mansoon based farming are now able to do farming all round the years. This enables multi-cropping in the villages, providing sustainable livelihoods to the people residing in the watershed area. The effort of Gram Sathi was praised by Mr. Adesh Titarmare, DM of Banka district.
It is estimated that 86% of rural and 24% of urban household still rely on biomass fuels. The victims of these diseases are predominantly women who are involved in cooking. Smoke from the traditional chulhas during cooking is also one of the major reasons for ill health of rural women in Katiyari village in Banka district in Bihar. One of the solutions may be the adoption of smokeless chulhas for cooking. The smokeless chulha is simple in design and mechanism and operatives similarly as the traditional chulhas used by many families except that it has a chimney. Its fuel efficiency is also high thus reducing the quantity of fuels. On 20 February, 2016 a training program was organized through which women were trained on the preparation and use of smokeless chulhas. As a result, in all 550 houses of the Katyari village smokeless chulhas are now being used.
The various community groups that have been established including the watershed committee, women SHG and farmers groups are at differing levels, involved with the project development and progress and engaged on a regular basis with the field staff. These committees were involved in planning and monitoring of the activities and for recruitment of labours. As the work progresses and the results become more visible, more numbers of people have shown their interest and become involved in different community engagement programs that are as follows:
|Base Line Survey
|Preparation of 2 Lac Saplings
(50 Hectares Land)
|Formation of SHGs
|Regular meetings of the SHGs
|Goat Rearing Training
|Poultry Farming Training
|Distribution of Seeds
|Voter Awareness Campaign
|Distribution of starting amount under the Chief Minister Hariyali Scheme
|Farmer Meetings for Dairy Farming
Producer Organization Formations
|Training on SRI Vidhi
|Distribution of Kisan Credit Card
|Training on Smokeless Chulha
|Preparation of Kisan Calender
A workshop was organized in Chakmadhia village in Katoria block in Banka district in Bihar on “Natural Resource Management” in which good number of people including farmers participated. In the workshop, the need to improve the underground water level was stressed. Mr. Devanand Kumar, Managing Trustee of Gram Sathi drew attention of the participants about the distortions made with the natural resources which has resulted in water imbalances, scarcity of safe drinking water and also increasing the water pollution in several ways. It was stressed to conserve water and preventing wastage of water in life.