Kozhikode: A group of over 1,500 former scouts at Naduvannur and nearby places has launched a project ‘Varshayanam’ to preserve the water resources in the area. The team also included scouts and guides, National Service Scheme volunteers of nearby schools and Bhoomi Mithra clubs in Naduvannur Higher Secondary School, Vakayadu. The plan to start ‘Varshayanam’ was chalked out at a gathering of the former scouts of the area, some of whom were recipients of the President’s awards.
They decided to do their bit for society, rather than be satisfied with getting grace marks for their time in the voluntary bodies. They got support from the clubs in schools and the project was launched in Government Higher Secondary School, Naduvannur, in the first week of July.“The three-year project is being implemented in 4,500 households of Balussery block panchayat,” said Mr Balachandran Parachottil, patron of Varshayanam and former assistant state commissioner of Bharat Scouts and Guides, Kerala.
“Already, a ‘save water pledge’ was taken by the volunteers and saplings were planted in the plots of the 4,500 families who are participating in the drive. The main functions of Varshayanam include making rain pits, bunds and organic layering of the earth and recharging of the wells using rainwater which will avoid water scarcity in the coming years,” said Mr Parachottil. The volunteers will also do door-to-door campaign and water quality testing. On Sunday, they will take out a ‘Mazhayathra’ in the area, throw seeds in the open areas and plant saplings, while singing rain songs.
CWRDM offers technical support
The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) will provide technical support to the volunteers of Varshayanam at Naduvannur. The centre will train them in water quality checking and open the museum for reference, said CWRDM water museum officer Dr K.R. Prasanna Kumar.
“The novel initiative taken up by the former scout forum should be appreciated and CWRDM will offer all technical support to them. We give them scientific training in rain pit making, checking water quality etc. They are also invited to attend the land water management demonstrations being held here. We also conduct awareness classes for the volunteers,” said Dr Prasanna Kumar.
The volunteers in groups will attend the classes at CWRDM before implementing the project in their villages. “Seeing is believing. So, we decided to give them first-hand training in water conservation, especially rainwater harvesting,” he added.