Gender, Water & Climate Change

Annual Report Draft

India is facing its worst water crisis in history, with the NITI Aayog estimating that 21 Indian states will run out of groundwater by 2020. Rajasthan has been identified as a critical and over-exploited state in this report. Alarmingly, it also has low adaptability and high sensitivity to climate change.

The Development division at CSR has worked on projects focused on linking gender, water and climate change since 2012. Primarily our work involves capacitating Elected Women Representatives (EWR’s) and Self Help Groups (SHGs) through basic and technical trainings, as well as infrastructure development.

The role of women in water conservation and recharge is integral. Providing women with a platform to engage with water conservation and recharge on both a policy level, as well as a ground level is essential. Our aim is to increase women’s participation in the climate change agenda.

Abu Road & Jaipur, Rajasthan

Our five year project “Water Conservation and Climate Change Training Program in Jaipur & Abu Road, Rajasthan 2013-2018”, in collaboration with Hanns–Seidel-Stiftung (HSS) concluded in 2018. An evaluation was conducted by an independent outside agency, The Centre for Evaluation, Germany on the same in 2019 October. Our team members accompanied the evaluator to our project sites in Jaipur and in Abu Road over a period of five days and interacted with the women we had worked with previously. It was absolutely incredible to bear witness to the amazing water conservation projects that these women had gone on to implement in their villages.

Image: Asha Sharma, Ex- Sarpanch Phagi village, with Independent Evaluator, Mr. Laszlo Szentmarjay. Under the shade of a Large tree, in a plantation developed by Asha ji.

Alwar, Rajasthan

The project in collaboration with Honda2Wheelers titled – Self Help Group (SHG) of Women for Sustainable Water Resource Management and Restoration of Water Resources in Alwar (2018-2019), helped in furthering the agenda of SHGs within the larger question of water conservation. The project concluded in July, 2019. This project has demonstrated a high social impact – we have directly worked 33 SHG women, conducting capacity-building trainings, as well as advanced technical trainings on water conservation and climate change. These trainings have reinforced traditional and existing water conservation methods and strategies alongside newer technologies, and have incorporated input and sessions from local technical experts, as well as government officials. The project also saw the construction of 5 medhbandhs (check-dams).

 “Yeh kaam to hamnekarvana hi karvanahai” – Leela, an SHG woman who was trained under the Honda project, spoke about the knowledge they gained through the trainings and how her and her fellow SHG members would see the project through.

Sanganer, Rajasthan

With the completion of the HSS and HONDA projects in 2018 and 2019 respectively, the department is now working on the initial planning and coordination of a project in collaboration with the RITES foundation in Sanganer, Rajasthan. This project seeks to work with 25 Self-Help Group women in 5 villages across Sanganer district, to make them the water conservation leaders in their communities.

Image: Focus Group Discussions with SHG women, during needs assessment visit

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