In May of 2014 the high of my 10th ICSE board exam results and ambition to do engineering in future was followed by a humbling journey of greendropsofjoy.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Indian economy where 70% of population is engaged. Also agriculture depends on water which is increasingly becoming scarce with each passing year.
To see if engineering reaches grass-roots, helps in environment I took trips to India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh (my family’s home state). As I walked a tiny village – Bichpari meeting the farmers who had installed Treadle Pump I learnt how new beginning were made by these tiny landholders at minimal investment with benefit of frugal innovation/engineering.
Treadle pump even enabled bypass the lack of electricity in the village to help farmers increase income and ward of poverty and increase agriculture production.
Mahavir (age 52 years) a farmer with a land holding of mere 0.4acre after installing treadle pump is not only free from the burden of renting expensive diesel pump but with manual efforts of 3-4hours daily an output of ~4000litres/hour is able to irrigate his farm.
Treadle pump helps small farmers in irrigation
Mahavir now grows three crops a year versus only two earlier and has an annual income of ~Rs36000-40000. With suitable irrigation he has added remunerative crop of vegetables besides a section of his land for samplings and even eucalyptus trees at the corners of his field.
All this was achieved with a treadle pump which costs about Rs3000 including installation which although was a big investment for him has become the story of greendropsofjoy!
Near Bichpari is the tiny village of Parewajal which was yet to see even a single treadle pump. In these farmers meetings we engaged in extensive discussions of issues faced in irrigation, the advantage of treadle pump, working of this frugal innovation, assurance of installation, low maintenance and post installation support.
Group gatherings in Parewajal
Many farmers were highly interested however treadle pump is a big investment for these smallest of farmers. So alongside enjoying school, I worked towards raising funds.My fundraising appeals to aid these farmer friends are on http://greendropsofjoy.com.
I met several prospective contributors. I wrote to many.My target was to fund 100 treadle pump installations. My project received wide contributions and positive messages.I feel encouraged with over Rs2,40,000 funds raised across 10 cities. I am grateful for all contributions received and moving the project forward.
In the months following October (post the rainy season) we worked towards installing the treadle pumps.
Several local challenges were faced in installing the treadle pumps such as – convincing farmers regarding installation, lack of trained person for bore-well digging and pump installation and rumor started by some that installing the pump would mean that farmer had taken loan.
However work has been done with the help of local elders and village headmen.
Financial support was provided for each pump but a 10% contribution from farmer ensured serious participation
Owner of a new pump
Target was to install 100 treadle pumps in Parewajal village. Once initial pumps were installed there has been high demand and target has been exceeded. and there is high enthusiasm in farmers and their families in using these pumps.
Family takes turns Women too operate
The project has now moved to the next phase, where we have taken the help of local Krishi Vikas Kendra seen in photographs below to assist farmers in identifying and planting the appropriate crops to get best results from these pumps for the next harvest season.
Quality seed preparations Planting of seeds
We hope to make Parewajal a “model village” using treadle pumps and increasing number of crops and earnings for farmers.
Regular updates on my project are available on http://greendropsofjoy.com. My project is on a small scale but the idea is powerful and the effort can grow bigger in future. Do write to me on email-ID ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ with your thoughts on this effort.Many thanks for devoting time and joining this small effort. I am grateful to IDEI for their full support and backing to my greendropsofjoy project. Many thanks to Mr Amitabha Sadangi for his guidance Special thanks to IDEI senior colleagues – Mr Anurag Priyadarshee, Mr Anurag Kapoor, The team members Mr Vishwakirti, Mr Sanjay Kumar, Mr Mukesh Kumar, Mr Dharmendra Kumar – all have been of great help and have worked tirelessly. They are the real heroes of this project. IDEI has been recognized and rewarded by several organizations. To learn more on IDEI visit http://www.ide-india.org