Tanks of India
Every village in south India had more than three water bodies for drinking, and agriculture, for cattle and birds, which are still working or workable if suitably renovated. The descriptions of these water bodies are recorded in every Indian epic composed by the ancient sages and bards, whether Hindu or Buddhist or Jains or Vaishnavites. The prominent village infrastructure in India through the history is creative water bodies – the backbone of habitations for drinking and agriculture. Somehow in the last 200 years the technological and scientific innovations missed out on this and today we are in dire need of reinventing what is needed for India.
India’s village tanks traditionally and even now used for agriculture, and drinking, cattle, and various other water related village needs. India has a very long history of water development in the form of manmade earthen bunded reservoirs called tanks & ponds and trained channels in many forms and designs. Through the ages, India remained a land of wealth and prosperity, interalia, due to its rich infrastructure for water, both big and small. Most prominent Rural Infrastructure in Rural Indian villages is their water-bodies. They are commonly called Tanks in English and Eris or Kanmois in Tamil, Cheruvu in Telugu, Keres in Kannada and numerous other names in other languages. But irrespective of their names and forms they serve nearly 7 % of Indian Irrigation (some quantify it as around 16%) and recharge the wells in India which amount nearly half the Indian Irrigation. The deaths of Tanks have a serious bearing in the wells and the drinking water situation also.
The present state of these prominent village infrastructures are in disrepair and want of repairs at a large scale. There are efforts in the recent years by various governments in reviving the structures. However, considering the massive demand for such repairs and revival the efforts are meagre and warrant a bigger movement. DHAN Foundation is one of the Development Organisation working on the theme for the fifteen years. There are enough demonstrations and work at a scale to show that the Local Farmers and their organisations given the initial support can revive them.
Own your name in History – Philanthropy for tanks
A vast majority of lakes and ponds in the southern districts of the country are named after ordinary individuals, as well as rulers, chieftains and kings. All castes including the today’s schedule castes, and castes of barbers, washerman, potters, etc are reflected in the name of a tank. It is high time that we mobilise the common man in India and abroad to safeguard these water bodies and related resources for the benefit of the people at large.
DHAN Foundation will work with the local communities dependent on the tanks, organise them into an association and up take the renovation through them.t. Dhan will also mobilise a 25% of the total cost of the renovation as the community contribution to build their ownership and to take care of its future maintenance. We look forward to your support to rejuvenate the Indian villages and launch the work as a community based, people focussed movement. Every completed work will be named either after the donor or in accordance with the donor’s wishes by the villagers. Our fifteen years work in South India and experience in rebuilding the tanks and ponds in various parts suggest that
This contribution would be directly passed on to Vayalagam Village Tank Farmers Association promoted by the DHAN foundation. The work will be taken up with the contribution from both the community and the donors. The accounts of the village associations are annually audited by Chartered Accountants and read in the village meetings. The Foundation from the list of villages generated by their teams in their working area will ensure that the works are completed as per design and result in rebuilding the tanks.
© Copright DHAN 2006.