Rainwater harvesting has not only quenched the thirst of 2,270 households in 43 villages in Madhugiri and Pavagada taluks of Tumakuru district, but has also improved their health by providing fluoride-free potable water.
Tumakuru is one of the dry districts of the State. It has no rivers and is completely dependent on rain and borewells for water.
Though borewells sunk to a depth of 1,200 to 1,500 ft provide water, the fluoride content is more than the permissible limits, especially in some villages of Sira, Gubbi, Madhugiri, Koratagere and Pavagada taluks.
BAIF Institute of Rural Development took up the Sachethana drinking water project in 2012 in Y.N. Hosakote and 30 neighbouring villages, and in 2013, in Ittige Dibbana (I.D.) Halli and 13 neighbouring villages in Madhugiri taluk.
As a result, frequent visits by villagers to the hospital have reduced.
Thimmakka of Janakaloti village in Madhugiri taluk told The Hindu, “I and my children used to visit the hospital twice a week for joint pain, body pain and other problems. But for the past three years, our health has improved after adopting rainwater harvesting.” She used to spend at least Rs. 700 a month towards medical expenses, which has now been converted into savings.
Her daughter-in-law Rajamma said, “I used to walk 1 km to get water from a well for cooking and drinking.”
Sarojamma, a beedi worker in I.D. Halli, said, “I used to wait in queues for hours to get two pots of drinking water from the public tap. Plus, because of power problem, we used to get water only around midnight.”
But now, she is saving time and also earning Rs. 1,000 more a month as compared with what she used to earn before adopting rainwater harvesting.