Prize of hard work

Prize of hard work  the people of Bhaonta-Kolyala village of Alwar district of Rajasthan have constructed a stone checkdam, reinforcing their earlier Johad (earthen dam). "This has been possible because of the Rs 1,00,000 prize given to us by Down To Earth ( dte ),'says Kanhaiya Lal, one of the villagers. The Down To Earth-Joseph C John award was presented to the villagers by the president, K R Narayanan on March 28, 2000 for their exemplary work in water harvesting.

Lal explained why they had chosen to build the dam at the site of an existing structure. "Every year before the rains we had to repair the johad extensively, as during the dry spells rats would make huge holes in it. When it rained these very holes caused huge breaches allowing a lot of the precious water to escape.' Now, their fields show signs of a bumper crop, their wells are bubbling with water and their victory over the demon of drought is complete. When dte visited Bhaonta-Kolyala recently, the villagers were busy in preparing for the construction of a bathing and washing ghat (platform) along a small nala (stream) that had arisen from the excess water stored in the new dam. The dam itself was full to the brim.

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