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This year the drought in Gujarat is a nightmarish reminder of the ill-fated 'chhapaniyo dukaal' (drought of VS 1956) in 1900. It has created an unprecedented crisis of fodder and drinking water in the region of Saurashtra, Sabarkantha and Kutch. As many as 4,000 villages and more than 125 towns are reeling under a severe water crisis. Almost all dams in the region have dried up and thirsting people trek 10 km for a pot of water which in many places is not safe to drink.

A summary of the BAPS rainwater harvesting projects and relief work, where fodder for cattle and Sukhadi and buttermilk is being distributed to the afflicted people, is as follows:

1. Daily Grass, Hay & Fodder Distribution To The Dying Cattle

a) 6,900 Cattle in Kutch
In Kutch and its desert area, since 19 April 2000, regular distribution of hay and grass with cattle feed have been undertaken by the BAPS sadhus and volunteers.

Villages helped: (15) - Naredi, Jarjokh, Vadva (Kaya), Suthari, Meghpar, Panandro (small), Panandro (big), Navanagar, Dayapar, Ravapar, Hothivandh, Sanosara, Mothala, Bhimpar, Nandro.

Number of cattle: 6,900 cattle are daily provided 2 kg dry hay, 6 kg green grass and 1 kg cattle feed.

Volunteers: 10 Volunteers working full time.

b) 3,835 cattle in Jasdan
In the past one week, BAPS has distributed more than 69,300kgs grass and hay for needy cattle in Jasdan, Rajkot district. With organised teams of volunteers and vehicles the fodder is being transported from greener regions.
Villages helped:(8) Godladhaar, Phooljhar, Somnath-Pipaliya, Modhuka, Bandhari, Sanaari, Navagaam, Sanaama.

Volunteers: 15 volunteers working full time.

c) 3,001 cattle in Baabra, Gondal, Jetpur
Sugarcane is being distributed for cattle in these 3 areas. 54,320 Kilos of sugercane have been distributed in only 3 days.

Villages helped:(8) Laalka, Paatidad, Gokhalana, Vadod, Mewasa, Haripur, Jetpur, Varadungra. Daily distribution of 50,000 kilos of sugercane has commenced from yesterday in these areas.

Volunteers: 15 volunteers working full time.


d) Grass and Hay Distribution in Sabarkantha
In the past one and half months, BAPS has distributed grass and hay worth over hundreds of thousands of rupees to needy cattle owners in the Sabarkantha district. With organised teams
of volunteers and vehicles the fodder was transported from the greener regions of Kheda, Prantij and Chiloda.

Villages helped: (11) Himatpur, Raheda, Finchod, Khodam, Movatpura, Atharva, Malpur, Nadri, Delwada, Therasana, Gulabpura.

2. 180 Rainwater Harvesting Projects Completed In 9 Months

In the Gadhada region of the Bhavnagar District, from August 1999 to April 2000 the following rain harvesting and watershed projects have been completed in preparation for the predicted drought.


                                

Village Structure Number
Ningala &
Ugamedi
Talavs(farm ponds) 11
Lakhanka Check dams
Nala plugging (of concrete)
Gully plugging (of boulders & mud)
Khet talav (farm ponds)
6
22

60
22
Raliana
Goradka
Underground (home) tanks
(concrete 10,000 litre capacity)
45
10
Ghogha Samdi Check dam 1 ongoing
Sakhpar
Tatum
Check dam
Check dam
2 ongoing
1 ongoing



Note: In total BAPS has constructed 61 concrete Check Dams from 1994 to 2000.

3. Excavation Of Silt in Veri Dam, Gondal

The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Gondal is currently aiding the Gondal Municipality to excavate the silt in Veri Dam nearby. Since the herculean project began on 5 April, BAPS volunteers and vehicles have been excavating 1500 tractorloads of silt daily. BAPS has provided 55 tractors which are carting away rich silt for nearby farmers who need it. A total of 100 tractors will be working onsite on a war footing till the arrival of the monsoon.

Summary : Since 5 April, 45,119 tractorloads of silt has been excavated costing over Rs.2.2 million donated by BAPS. Of the 29 ft. of silt in the dam, over 6 ft. has been excavated and for the next month daily excavation work which now costs Rs. 45,000 per day by 55 tractors is likely to increase to 100 tractors. BAPS contribution will exceed approx. Rs.3 to 3.5 million for the next month, totalling approx. Rs. 4 to 4.5 million worth of donations and services for the excavation project.

4. Project For Sukhadi (Sweet Energy Food) Distribution Undertaken

a) Dist. Kutch
BAPS is daily distributing 2.48 tons of sukhadi to 12,400 affected people in 101 villages of Kutch. In one month, a total of 74.4 tons of pre-packed sukhadi worth over Rs.1,636,800 will be distributed to the needy.

Volunteers: 90 are working in the region. The work will continue till the arrival of monsoon.


 
Taluko
 
Villages
 
Persons
 
Sukhadi
Kg./Month
 
Amount
Rs.
Abadaasa
48
6,000
36,000
792,000
Nakhatrana
26
2,900
17,400
382,000
Lakhpat
27
3,500
21,000
462,000
 
Total
 
101
 
12,400
 
74,400
1,636,800


b) Dist. Jamnagar
BAPS is daily distributing 0.98 tons of sukhadi to 4,711 affected people in 17 villages of the Jodia taluko in Jamnagar. In one month, a total of 28.2 tons of pre-packed sukhadi worth over Rs. 621,000 will be distributed to the needy.

Villages of Jodia taluko:(17) Kunak, Jivapar (Amran), Jodia, Unt Bet Sampar, Jam-Dudhai., Keshiya, Limbuda, Amran, Dhulkot, Koyli, Balambha, Fatsar, Kerali, Bodka, Rasnal, Badanpar.

Volunteers: 10 are working full-time in the region. The work will continue till the arrival of monsoon.

c) Dist. Amreli
BAPS is daily distributing 566 Kg of sukhadi to 2,830 affected people in 18 villages of Amreli and Dhari taluko. In one month, a total of 16.9 tons of pre-packed sukhadi worth over Rs.373,560 will be distributed to the needy.

Volunteers: 10 are working full-time in the region.The work will continue till the arrival of monsoon.

d) Dist. Bhavnagar
BAPS is daily distributing 420 Kg of sukhadi to 2,100 affected people in 10 villages of Gadhada taluko in Bhavnagar district. In one month, a total of 12.6 tons of pre-packed sukhadi worth over Rs.277,200 will be distributed to the needy.

Volunteers: 20 are working full-time in the region. The work will continue till the arrival of monsoon.

e) Dist. Sabarkantha
BAPS is daily distributing 2.7 tons of sukhadi to 13,500 affected people in 52 villages of Khedbrahma taluko in Sabarkantha district. In one month, a total of 81 tons of pre-packed sukhadi worth over Rs.1.78 million will be distributed to the needy.

Volunteers : 140 are working full-time in the region. The work will continue till the arrival of monsoon.


f) Dist. Dahod
BAPS is daily distributing 1.02 tons of sukhadi to 5,100 affected people in 11 villages of Dahod taluko. In one month, a total of 30.6 tons of pre-packed sukhadi worth over Rs. 673,000 will be distributed to the needy.

Volunteers: 20 are working full-time in the region. The work will continue till the arrival of monsoon.

Summary of Sukhadi Distribution


Taluko Villages Persons Daily
Sukhadi
Kg.
Monthly
Sukhadi Kg.
Amount
Rs.
Kutch
101
12,400
2480
74,400
1,636,800
Jamnagar
17
4,711
942
28,266
621,852
Amreli
18
2,830
566
16,980
373,560
Bhavnagar
10
2,100
420
12,600
277,200
Sabarkantha
52
13,500
2700
81,000
1,782,000
Dahod
11
5,100
1020
30,600
673,200
Total
 
209
 
40,641
 
8128
 
243,846
5,364,612



5. Future Projects Will Include Work In Dhandhuka Region

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