River of joy

  • 14/03/1998

River of joy it is a feeling that only Lazarus would be familiar with: coming back from death. Or Bhagirath, who brought the Ganga to this world. The rural folk in the villages of district Alwar, Rajasthan, have become the masters of their destiny. And one has to resort to mythology to find metaphors to illustrate their achievements. After three decades of sand, heat and infertility, the basin of the Ruparel river has discovered perennial water, prosperity and abundance. The benefits are not restricted to the villages. The region's ecology as a whole has witnessed a turnaround that does not have too many parallels in the real world, if any at all.

The assistance in this case, however, did not come through supernatural agencies. It came from the Tarun Bharat Sangh (tbs), a voluntary organisation that has been working in the region for the last 13 years and is funded by a host of reputed international development agencies. The transformation in the region is a result of building johads

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