Rajasthan, the land of camels and shifting sand dunes experienced the brunt of summer heat this month. Despite monsoons hitting the deserts, many sun-parched villages continue to experience the heat of scorching summer sun. Summers bring tough times for wild animals that search high and low to quench their thirst. Recently, a few villagers spotted the corpse of deer who died of thirst in Jodhpur.
While Rajasthan government’s ambitious water-savvy scheme ‘Jal Swavlamban’ brought relief to the villagers, it was difficult for the government to cover the entire state. It’s because Rajasthan is the largest state in India, in terms of geographical area.
When monsoons hit Jodhpur, a spot on the foothills near Mehrangarh Fort captures rainwater. This ancient water reservoir was present in Lunavpura village in Jodhpur. It is five feet wide at the bottom, two feet wide at the top, 15 feet high and 70 feet in length. During monsoons, the water from the reservoir seeped into the soil nearby due to the faulty condition of the reservoir. In short, the water body was in desperate need of repair.
Experts from INTACH (Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage) mulled over the possibility of holding water in the reservoir. If repaired, the body could satisfy the thirst of countless animals and villagers in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the INTACH officers called for ‘shramdaan’ – voluntarily donating one’s efforts or labor for a public cause.
The non-profit charity mobilized resources and expertise required for restoration of the pond. Thus, with the efforts of Intach officers, the pond was restored before the scheduled time. Today, this 80x20x200 feet structure quenches the thirst of birds, deer, and several other animals flocking in that region. Besides restoring the pond, the NGO will now make efforts to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Jodhpur.