Social Work and Environment for Rural Advancement

NRM and Climate Change


Since its inception SWERA has concerns for management of natural resources. Agriculture and animal husbandry, the most important means of livelihood sustenance in SWERA' area of engagement have witnessed constant fall due to perpetual droughts over the years. Moreover, rich Aravali hills are also losing their lustre due to blatant plundering of its natural resources leading to decreasing biodiversity. Many of the medicinal plants like okios have almost disappeared from the rich hills and also from fields in the area.

In earlier days SWERA played a vital role in managing this resource base through its pioneering interventions like construction of watersheds, well deepening, farm bunding, afforestation and pasture land development, baadi development, construction of water harvesting structures, horticulture and so on. Moreover, Village Forest Committees were also formed to ensure people's participation and sustenance of work done.

Though in contemporary days SWERA has not been taking up any of those construction works due to funding constraints yet it is engaged in promoting biodiversity by planting medicinal and other disappeared species of plants, strengthening Village Forest Committees to better care of its earlier operations.

Besides Environment Protection and Health Committees (EPHC) have also been formed under the strategic name 'Combating Poverty'. This is a group of children studying at SWERA's alternative education centres, lending their active support in plantation work, protecting plants, and sensitising people on conservation and intelligent use of natural resources through different street plays and by undertaking different campaigns, viz., plantatin campaign, village cleanliness campaign, etc., which urges elderly people to help them out in their job.

Okiyano criapto, a medicinal plant (also used for pickle making) was available in plenty in the area around 10 years back. But people's greed endangered the existence of this species by 2003-04. Afterwards, SWERA took the responsibility of conserving this valuable gift of nature. It initiated its movement from a small village called as 'Hathipatta' and formed Village Forest Committee over there. It sensitised laymen of the village as well as committee members on importance of this plant and the danger associated with its existence and wooed people to not to harm the same in future. After this, Okiyano criapto was planted on public land of the village and nurtured by people themselves. Now one can easily find a small forest of this species in the village. VFR members are still discharging their responsibilities excellently. Cutting of these plants is completely banned here.