A 'village' designed for a cause

A 'village' designed for a cause

A 'village' designed for a cause
Ever heard of a village whose sole purpose is to create awareness about the basics of rainwater harvesting? Welcome to ‘Barishpur’ near Vijayapura, a model village created by Nirmithi Kendra in an area of seven guntas in 2005 to demonstrate the basics of soil and water conservation.

The ingenious village has model shops, temples, schools, hospitals and houses, and every drop of rain that falls on these structures is collected. There are demonstrations that stress on the necessity of judicious use of water. The demonstrations also include different types of houses — tiled roof, thin roof, terraced roof, cement sheet roof — incoporated with rainwater harvesting systems.

In this village, rainwater that falls on the roof is collected in a pit through a pipe. Apart from this, bunds, trenches, check dams and small water storage structures have been constructed in the model fields to check the flow of water. Percolation pits and ponds have also been constructed to show the process of groundwater recharging.

The walls of the houses are covered with slogans that emphasise the importance of rainwater harvesting. Plants like fig, banyan and margosa are grown in the premises. “Every year, Barishpur gets about 10,000 visitors. Looking at the simple rainwater harvesting techniques, many go back inspired,” says Gopinath N Malaji, planning commissioner, Nirmithi Kendra. Now it has developed into a popular attraction in Vijayapura.

The structures here also intrigue history buffs through demonstrations on the remarkable water management systems developed by the Adil Shahi rulers of Vijayapura. It is said that water conservation was known in this region in the days of Adil Shahi rulers. In fact, in areas surrounding Vijayapura, the kings had constructed canals, wells and other structures to collect rainwater. This water would then be directed towards the fort in the town for use.

Rainwater is a priceless resource of nature. It is the source of water for our wells, lakes, rivers and more. Today, some of these water sources are going dry while some are getting polluted. This in turn has affected us in many ways.

This is exactly why rainwater is considered as highly valuable and precious. Collecting rainwater in our houses will take care of all our daily needs. Just like one of the slogans on the wall of a home in Barishpur says, ‘Adopting rainwater harvesting system is simple, cost-effective and is a one-time investment.’

(Translated by A Varsha Rao)

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