Improving the Lives in Rural India by Technology-enabled Solutions

Sustainable Livelihoods while addressing Climate Change

Name / Headline: Raah Foundation

Raah Foundation: A world where the marginalized communities live with dignity.

Raah Foundation, registered in 2011, works in the indigenous tribal areas of Maharashtra. In just a decade the organization has surely come a long way – from 3 founding members to that of 55 directly impacting the lives of 60,000 people and counting.

Problem Description & Solution Approach:

The tribal communities live along the northern part of the western ghats – the Sahyadri mountain range. The intergenerational poverty needs a very different approach as clearly in spite of multiple efforts by multiple stakeholders and a lot of money the situation has only marginally improved. 

With climate change looming large and these vulnerable communities being the innocent victims, the chances that they might slip back into poverty losing critical progress are extremely high. Clearly, the situation is extremely critical and needs a different approach and out-of-the-box thinking.

Climate change is at the core of everything Raah does and makes communities resilient to ensure better adaptation.

Raah’s model of Water Security involves the following:

♦ Availability of water (for all needs)
♦ Ease of access to water (for all needs)
♦ Quality of water (drinking)

♦ The rainwater harvesting capacity of the village is enhanced through different structures to augment the supply side of the water and on the demand side create a village-level water management committee to regulate water usage.

♦ Scientific approach and hydrogeology are used extensively to understand and map the area and build sustainable solutions based on the findings.

The foundation adopts a water-parched village, computes water demand over 10 years for different uses, maps the existing water structure and status. 

Creation of seven layered Food Forests on barren, unused land, to mitigate the challenges of climate change – providing economic benefits while improving the soil quality and becoming a carbon sink.

Traction & Impact:

  • ♦ Over 60,000 direct beneficiaries are covered
  • ♦ 900 million liters of annual rainwater conserved
  • ♦ 100 open wells and open dams in 90 villages

♦ Year-round water for drinking and agriculture available in their villages
♦ Women save over 1200 hours per anum
♦ Health improves as they do not need to walk with heavy pots on their heads
♦ Chances of girls completing education are higher

♦ Year-round farming allows farmers to stop migration and live a life of dignity in their villages
♦ Communities become financially more resilient as they can save and invest money
♦ Overall health and well-being of the communities improve
♦ Living in their villages allows them to practice their culture and preserve it better

♦ Connecting Government line departments and other NGOs working in this space will create more collaborative opportunities to scale.

WGF leaders providing oversight:

WGF Leaders:
Ratan Agarwal

Call-to-action:

♦ The cost to reforestation is approximately 1 lac per acre.

♦ Water and Climate problems abound in the trabal areas in Maharashtra. WGF welcomes alumni from these regions to engage and support the replication & expansion of this high-impact model.

Click here to know more about Raah Foundation

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