Bhanwar Lal Gurjar ‘The rainwater tastes good and sweet’
Bhanwar Lal Gurjar, aged forty-two, lives in Charasada village with four of his family members, his wife Sajana Devi, aged forty, and his two sons, seventeen year old Rajaram and fifteen year old Sitaram. Bhanwar’s two daughters are married and have left home. Bhanwar has led a challenging life as a small farmer from a poor background with a very small plot of land (2.8 acres). To earn a living Bhanwar had to also work in nearby villages while his family had to walk long distances to fetch water each day, time which could have been spent going to school and doing other work.
Bhanwar was selected in the initial phase of the PKS roof rainwater harvesting project on a priority basis. In June 2013, Bhanwar and his family helped to construct a roof rainwater harvesting tank at their home before the monsoon so that they could then harvest water from the rains in July and August. The water collected during this time was enough to satisfy his family’s need for water for the whole of the next year. Now, the family are all drinking cleaner and healthier water than ever before. Bhanwar stated that the collected rainwater is sweeter in taste than the dirty water from the village pond. Bhanwar is now also a trained mason and can find work in his village because of the project and is earning 8,000 rupees a month. His wife, Sajana, has managed to save three hours a day by not needing to walk to fetch water and can now ensure that her children go to school on time. Sajana can now also spend more time helping with their agricultural work. The couple have been able to develop a small vegetable garden at home after being motivated by PKS and Sajana can save a minimum of 300 rupees per month from what she has proceeds from their vegetable garden.