Launch of DHANA project

Launch of DHANA Project on Pambar Kottakaraiar Basin Tank Cascade Development

The DHAN Vayalagam (Tank) Foundation, a water theme collective of DHAN Foundation has prepared a project called DHANA ( DHAN Vayalagam (Tank) Foundation and Axis Bank Foundation) Project with the funding support from Axis Bank Foundation, Mumbai for renovating the 750 water bodies ( 625 tanks and 125 village ponds) in the project area situated in Pambar Kottakaraiar river basin. This river basin is situated at 4 districts namely Dindigul, Madurai,Sivagangai and Pudukottai and finally drains the water at bay of Bengal near Sundarapandia Pattinam village of Pudukottai district. DHAN Vayalagam (Tank) Foundation selected four drought prone blocks one each from 4 districts above for selecting the water bodies proposed for this project. This project is evolved as innovative one to rehabilitate 625 tanks which are in cascades spreading in four blocks supports 20000 more small and marginal farmers who directly depending on them for their livelihood and drinking water sources. In addition 125 village ponds also have been included for renovation which supports another 10000 families for their drinking water sources. For all these 750 water bodies the people institution called Vayalagams will be promoted and these institutions will implement the renovation and would take their future maintenance and management once renovation is done through this project.

Apart from renovation, the project would concentrate on catchments treatment around the water bodies as to arrest the soil erosion and deposition of the silt to the tanks. The project also concentrates on agriculture and livestock demonstrations for stabilizing the tank fed agriculture in the project area.

Over all Objective of the project

“Ensuring the improved agricultural and allied livelihoods to the underprivileged poor farming and landless community living in disasters (flood induced/drought hit) ephemeral Pambar-Kottakariyar river basin in South India”

Specific Objectives

DHAN Vayalagam (Tank) Foundation proposes the following specific objectives that can be achieved through different development interventions as well as social processes. They are as under:

  • To organize the unorganized people in project villages into formal associations viz. Vayalagams, Cascade and federations in phased manner and empower their capacity through need based skill and leadership development programmes
  • To enhance the bio diversity and Micro Environment in the Project Villages with appropriate actions to overcome from Degradation and constant disaster occurrences
  • To create access to improved Drinking Water Surface Water resources
  • To Financially include the Excluded by Promoting micro finance activities
  • To empower the women folks by integrating their needs for occupational development and basic needs in the project area
  • To create a mass awareness of the Climate Change Implications in Madurai City through Marathon Event

Anticipated benefit from the proposed project

  • 750 tank based people institutions and 80 tank cascades will be promoted and in place for taking care of the local management of these water bodies for generations.
  • 10100 hectares of tank command area will get stabilized for their tank fed agriculture and assured production by rehabilitating the 625 tanks.
  • 4750 more ground water wells are getting recharged because of the storage created additionally through the tank rehabilitation under this project.
  • The 30000 and more farming families will get an additional income by stabilized agriculture and allied activities through this project. Indirectly another 30000 and more landless would get benefit through this project for their agriculture wage labour through the stabilized agriculture
  • The 30000 and more livestock population in the project area would get benefit through the ensured dead storage in the 750 water bodies in the project area. In addition livestock productivity will be increased by conducting periodical veterinary development activities and introducing improved breeds.
  • The dead storage will be created in 100 water bodies as an exclusive basis for aquaculture development and ensuring the nutrition security for the landless and marginal farming communities. 
  • Through the agriculture interventions, the productivity at each farming household level would be increased by 5 to 10 bags per season through the integrated interventions.
  • The endowment created at 625 tanks would ensure the annual regular maintenance of the tanks for ensuring the future sustainability.
  • The small and marginal farmers will be mobilized as micro finance groups among the tank farmers and they will do savings, credit and insurance and get the access to banks and KDFS for their credit needs for economical and financial sustainability. 750 more Micro finance Groups will be promoted and linked with the banks and KDFS for their credit needs on phased manner.
  • With the support of Axis bank, mass awareness on climate change adaptation through Madurai marathon will be created by involving the community and other stake holders.
  •   The impact and success stories of the project will be documented as film, publications and it is made available for replication of similar approaches to else where in the country. The learning’s will be disseminated through organizing the seminars on various themes of the proposed project.
  • Through the village drinking water pond development, hardship faced by the women will be addressed at 125 villages in the project area. In addition the women will be integrated in decision making forums like executive and management committees of the people institutions.
  • They also will be part of the 750 MFGs for their livelihood and agriculture development for addressing their poverty situations.
  • As a whole, the project will ensure efficient system of local management and sustainable development in 750 water bodies in the Thirumanimuthar sub basin.
  • Because of the reviving the missing links and enhanced storage, the frequent flood damages will be reduced and community will take care through early warning system.
  • This project will be the demonstration model in the sub basin to address the tank management issues with holistic approaches and it will influence the mainstream policies to effectively implement the small scale water bodies’ development through community participation in a holistic way.    

Way forward

This project is going to be the pilot experiment with Axis Bank Foundation in the Pambar and Kottakaraiar basin as an innovative project to demonstrate the rehabilitation of tanks and ponds as first phase initiative. During the subsequent phases the DVTF would continue its action on long term perspective as to saturate the entire blocks as this project are is having 2395 tanks and we are proposed 500 tanks in the first phase. This is going to be the model project with Axis Bank Foundation and DVTF collaboration efforts to revive the cascades for poverty reduction and sustainable agriculture. The DVTF would take the challenges to continue the development intervention in this project area on long term basis at least for next 10 to 15 years to saturate the entire area. The DVTF and Axis Bank Foundation will envisage that this is going to be one of the pioneering initiatives to reach the poor farming community for their poverty reduction and economical sustainability.