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February 22, 2024
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“Empowering villages: Jalagam workshop unveils grassroots innovations in Water Management and Climate Resilience”

‘Jalagam’ workshop aims to strengthen local knowledge systems for Water and Climate challenges”

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Maharashtra – On December 20, 2023, the S M Sehgal Foundation, in collaboration with DCB Bank and NIRDPR (National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj), hosted the second chapter of the Capacity Building and Experience Sharing workshop series, titled ‘Jalagam’ (meaning ‘panlot’ in Marathi). The event, held in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Maharashtra, witnessed the participation of distinguished guests, including Dr. Debapriya Dutta from the State S&T Programme (SSTP) Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, Gaurav Mehta from DCB Bank, and Anjali Makhija, Trustee & CEO, S M Sehgal Foundation.

Dr. Dutta highlighted the significance of a bottom-up approach, stating, “Community adaptability and sustenance mechanisms exist, and platforms like these should facilitate the sharing of local knowledge systems, strengthening them through partnerships.”

The panel sessions, focusing on models of community participation, featured grassroots champions and village leaders such as Vaishali Chopre from Wanegaon, Asha Atmaram Komati from Shivani village (Yavatmal district), and Amit A. Bhatpude, Geologist from the Groundwater Survey Development Agency. Sarpanches from Ghodegaon, Nidhona, and Shirodi shared their award-winning work in water management, emphasizing the crucial role of village-level institutions in building climate resilience. They discussed community stewardship models that have enhanced water security in their villages. Key discussions centered around models of community participation at the village level, the role of village-level institutions in building climate resilience, and policies and practices in water security, making the Jalagam workshop in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar a noteworthy event. Another highlight of the day was a skit performed by students of social work from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, addressing the theme ‘Impact of Climate Change in Marathwada region.’

The session addressing policy practice gaps in making rural India water-secure featured academicians such as Dr. Sampat Kale from TISS Tuljapur, Dr. Nitin Prakashrao Patil from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, and Seema Vishnu Sanap from AFPRO.

‘Jalagam’ Workshop Series ‘Jalagam’ marks a significant step toward featuring community adaptability and sustenance mechanisms at the intersection of water and climate change. The workshop series aims to foster collaboration and sharing experiences in water resources management, bringing out challenges and practices across regions in the states of Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing Water Crisis and Climate Change: DCB Bank’s Commitment

Murali, M. Natrajan, Managing Director and CEO of DCB Bank, emphasized the bank’s commitment to addressing water-related challenges, climate change, and promoting sustainable livelihoods through Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). DCB Bank collaborates with communities and experts across India to implement impactful changes, with a focus on water crisis mitigation and climate change adaptation.

Anjali Makhija, Trustee and CEO of S M Sehgal Foundation, highlighted the positive impact of the collaboration between DCB Bank and the foundation. The partnership, initiated in 2017, has led to significant achievements in watershed development, benefiting over 14,500 community members across Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. The projects have resulted in the harvesting of over 350 million liters of water, contributing to the well-being of small and marginal farmers.

“Many villages have benefited from the combined efforts of DCB Bank and the Sehgal Foundation regarding water conservation and sustainability. The workshop series aims to feature community efforts in resilience and pave the way for addressing the pressing issues of water and climate change,” stated Anjali Makhija.

DCB Bank Limited and S M Sehgal Foundation formed a partnership in 2017 to embark on community projects focused on water. This collaboration has made a significant impact, benefiting more than 14,500 community members across five states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan in India, resulting in the harvesting of over 350 million (35 crores) liters of water. The projects include groundwater augmentation through check dams, rejuvenating ponds for surface water storage, and rainwater harvesting units in schools to enable access to drinking water.

Let us tell you that, DCB Bank Limited is a new-generation private sector bank with 439 branches (as of 30th September 2023) across India. It is a scheduled commercial bank regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. DCB Bank has more than 10,00,000 active customers.

The Bank’s CSR projects and activities mainly focus on water crisis, climate change, and sustainable livelihoods; preferably Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). Water, the lack of it impedes progress and sustainability of the nation, its people, and the planet. The Bank has invested CSR resources to support, collaborate, and work with communities and experts across India, to implement impactful changes in sustainable livelihood, protection of water, and climate change adaptation projects that are sustainable over the long term.

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