5,000 Villagers Worked to Revive Andipalayam Lake Reducing Drought Risks
Kumar Duraisamy inspired thousands of people of Tiruppur to revive a 60-acre lake to battle a long spell of drought
Water crisis leads to drought conditions, which not only affect humans but widely disturb nature and the wildlife. Chennai witnessed a severe water crisis in 2019 and made headlines for the same. About twenty-four districts of the state were hit by drought conditions, except a small town named Tiruppur.
The town is situated near Coimbatore and had been dealing with water scarcity since 2002. Tiruppur’s Andipalayam Lake saw a reduction in groundwater recharge because of the tremendous industrialization and commercialization in the area. However, a dash of determination and hard work changed the whole scenario.
Kumar Duraisamy, project director of NGO Voluntary Organization for People Empowerment for Rural areas by Youth (VETRY) and also the native of the town, took an initiative and inspired around fifty-thousand people to make the village drought-free by reviving the lake.
The groundwater levels had reached up to 1,000 feet, and the bore wells turned dry. The water tankers had no means to lift water…Convincing hundreds of entrepreneurs would otherwise be a difficult task. However, given the situation everyone was facing, they agreed to give it a try. I also took help from government officials for the task.
The lake’s major source of water happens to be River Noyyal, which was cut off by huge encroachments surrounding a 5-km radius of the water body. According to Kumar, Andipalayam Lake was dry for fifteen years as people used every drop of the groundwater. Exploitation by farmers and other stakeholders as they would extract water through three temporary waterways subsequently decreased the water levels even further.
To everyone’s amazement, the lake is now filled completely with water for most of the year, releasing the village from its long drought spell – all thanks to Kumar and the fellow companions who helped him achieve his goal to make his hometown drought-free.
To make this happen, the people carried tubs and various items to remove silt and deepen the lake to enhance its water capacity. Almost every Sunday, around 5,000 people contributed to the initiative, while corporations donated up to Rs 10 lakh.
Undoubtedly, inspiring a humongous amount of population is a gigantic task in itself but Kumar along with the villagers surmounted all the challenges and became a source of inspiration for many. Their tremendous work can be replicated across many drought-stricken districts in India, which would certainly help in reducing water scarcity from the nation and aid strengthen the supply of potable water in the face of global warming.
Via: The Better India