TAMILNADU – Vellore

ACHIEVEMENTS IN VELLORE

  • 23/225Villages Completed
  • 10915 Micro Recharge Structures
  • 904 Sq. MilesProject Area
  • 359 MillionGallons
  • $13,500Invested so far
  • 34698 Individuals Impacted

KEY CHALLENGES

  • Ground water table down to 650 ft
  • High salinity water not conducive for agriculture
  • Youth population migrating out of the districts to cities in search of employment abandoning traditional agriculture

GALLERY

Our Hero Story

Chandrasekhar Kuppan

How 20,000 women in Vellore, Tamil Nadu got together to save a dying river

In the last decade, much of Vellore’s agricultural labour had migrated to the cities as water bodies had dried up, leaving nothing for irrigation Most of those who left, were men seeking contract work, leaving the womenfolk behind with little to do. But their lives changed when Chandrasekhar Kuppan (a leader with the Art of Living Foundation, our execution partner) reached out to the district and suggested that they work on massive scale rainwater harvesting programs and revive the local Nagnadhi river. He replicated the execution model pioneered by Nagraj Gangoli from Karnataka.

Chandrasekhar inspired over 20,000 women to work for this cause, who in a span of four years built 3500 recharge wells and boulder check dams and the Nagnadhi river which had been dry for 15 years began to flow. While rest of Vellore still reels in water scarcity, the wells in areas of intervention have water at a 40 ft depth.

“I can now grow water-intensive paddy in my land, something I could not have imagined couple of years ago.”

– Nathiya one of the women who worked on this project.

OVBI is partnering with Chandrasekhar Kuppan to scale his project in Tamil Nadu. He recently completed an OVBI funded project to bring water to 10 villages, is working on 210 more, and is one of the key leaders driving our campaign to Eliminate Water Poverty in 5000 villages by 2023.

OUR TEAM

US Project Lead

Sudarshan Murlidharan

India Project Lead

Ravindra Desai

Execution Lead

Chandrasekhar Kuppan