Pitching in for a pond
for the people of Mandsaur, Dewas and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh drought has been a daily scourge that they learnt to live with. They would wait endlessly for water trains, lock barrels of water to prevent theft and protest sporadically against the scarcity. The recent drought, however, has made the government adopt a novel scheme in which it involved the victims themselves in conserving their lifeline.
The scheme is simple. The district administration provides technical help and partly finances projects like construction or repair of talabs (ponds) and setting up of rooftop rainwater harvesting systems ( rtrwhs ). The people chip in with cash and labour.
Dewas has virtually declared war against water scarcity. The collector, M Mohan Rao, said: "When I took over as district collector, I declared Dewas a