Managing a crisis

Managing a crisis after having revived the Arvari rivulet through the sweat of their brow, the 70 villages in the rivulet's basin in Alwar district, Rajasthan, have gone one step ahead. They are taking proactive measures to deal with the third consecutive year of drought. This is being done through the Arvari Sansad, or the Arvari Parliament, which was formed in January 1999.

On October 2-3, 2000, the Arvari Parliament met in an emergency meeting in village Bhikampura to discuss the drought-like situation staring Rajasthan in the face and the measures required to mitigate the effects of consecutive monsoon failures. The Arvari Parliament was formed to manage the river and its waters after its flow became perennial in 1996. This was a result of the 70 villages building more than 200 johad s (earthen check dams that are based on age-old, time-tested principles of water management). The river had been reduced to a monsoonal drain for decades, while the region was reeling under chronic drought (see

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