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IN FOCUS

Traditional Water Harvesting Techniques of India

Traditional Water Harvesting Techniques of India

In terms of water prosperity our country India has been blessed with various water gifts from Mother Nature. Fresh water lakes, rivers, ponds, aquifers and the monsoons to replenish them year after year.

India has always since ancient times has had a history of floods and droughts. So, over the ages the Indian civilisation had learnt the need and implementation of water harvesting, drainage system and storage of water. Different parts of the country follow different techniques based on the geographical uniqueness of that place, like the weather and land type.

Though various indigenous water collecting and storage methods are followed across India like baolis, kunds, katas, bandhs etc., let's look at some of the most amazing, scientific, practical and rich traditional techniques of water conservation and management systems, that are followed in our country.

1. Zing - In J&K, Ladakah - the water of melting glaciers is collected in small tanks called Zing. Water from the melting glacier is brought to the tanks through a network of channels. It starts with a trickle in the morning and turns into a flowing stream by the afternoon. The water thus collected by the evening, is used in the fields on the following day.

2. Zabo - In Nagaland - conservation of forests is the basic step of water conservation as they form the main catchment areas. The water from these forests is diverted through channels from the hilltops to the reservoirs below. This harvested water carries a lot of organic matter with it which serves as nutrients for the farmlands.

3. Bamboo Drip irrigation - In Meghalaya - bamboo channels are used to divert the water from a source such as a spring through an intricate system of bamboo channels. It reaches the fields where it serves the irrigation purposes.

4. Panam Keni - In Kerala the native tribe of Wayanad harvests water in a unique way. The stems of toddy palms are soaked in water till their core rots away. Wooden cylinders of the leftover hard outer layer, which are nearly 4 feet in diameter are immersed in groundwater springs. This holds water even in the hottest months of the year.

5. Jackwells - In Nicobar Islands the Shompen tribe uses Jackwells for water harvesting. These are small pits encircled by bunds made from logs of hard wood. Full length bamboo strips split longitudinally are placed on gentle slopes under trees to collect and channelize the runoff water from leaves. The entire system is constructed keeping in mind gravity so that a natural flow is maintained.

With time as we drift away to modernisation and urbanisation we in India can very well resolve the water crisis, inevitable in future, by reviving our age-old water conservation techniques of diverting, channelizing, harvesting, storing and restoring the rain and ground water.

In Story

A Rainbow Story

Rainbow

Out in the lush, green garden Binnu chased the multi-coloured butterflies which flitted from flower to flower.

Suddenly there was a flash of lightening. Soon, the sky was completely overcast and it begun to rain. Binnu and his mother took shelter in the verandah and watched the rain. The rain stopped after a while and the sun peeped out from behind the clouds.

Binnu ran into the garden again. He caught his breath when he looked at the sky. A lovely multi-coloured arc extended right across the blue expanse.

"When the sun's rays shine on the falling drops of rain, a rainbow is formed." His mother told Binnu.

"Mother, tell me a story of the rainbow," begged Binnu.

"Well, in King Indra's court there were seven naughty children who were always quarrelling and fighting."

"One day an argument arose over who was the greatest among them."

"The red child said, 'How can it be anyone but me? Watermelons, pomegranates, apples, tomatoes all have red, you see.'

"Spoke the orange child, 'Oranges, carrots or grain they are all the same. They owe their colour to me.'

"The yellow child piped up, 'My fame has spread far and wide, you find me in guavas, bananas, sunflower or rose. In all of them its yellow that shows.'

"Now it was the turn of the green child, 'Wherever there is green I can be seen on unripe mangoes and tamarind is my seat.'

"Then spoke the blue child, 'Lift your eyes to the sky and you'll know why none is greater than I.'

"But the indigo child interrupted, 'Have you seen the peacock dance? The water-lily and the lake itself takes my hue.'

"Now it was the turn of the violet, 'Be it jamun, grape or aubergine, I give them life, on their bodies am I seen.'

"The children were quarrelling when Indra arrived on the scene. 'Why are you squabbling?' he asked. 'You know good children don't quarrel.'

"They told God Indra the cause of the squabble and asked, 'You tell us who is the best among us?'

"Indra laughed. 'There is little to choose between you. You look lovely when you are together and form a rainbow. No one can divide you.'

Source: By Usha Joshi; Published by National Book Trust, India.

UNSUNG HEROS

Ramveer Tanwar

Ramveer Tanwar
Reviving Dead Lakes

In India the state of various water bodies has been a concern for some time.

RamveerTanwar, a 25-year-old engineer by profession quit his job at an MNC and started his journey as an active environmentalist. He was passionate about water conservation during his days in B.tech., his inspiration being Vikrant Tongad who is a well-known environmentalist.

In April 2018, summer had begun and the water situation was so adverse that UP government had declared 6 districts draught affected. Ramveer belonged to a family where generations had worked as farmers and knew and understood the dire situation of the water reservoirs in the area. So, he started a water conservation campaign with his fellow college mates and the children he taught. The people of the area understood the campaign but never contributed to it as they themselves were exploiting the resources.

Ramveer then started a program called "Jal Choupal" where gatherings and rallies were conducted village to village in many districts. In the Dabra district, Ramveer took upon himself to revive the one-time existing beautiful lake, that had got garbage laden over the years leading the lake to being perpetually dead. During the initial stages of the project, to revive the lake in Dabra, despite many hurdles the project started in 2015. Many villagers came to aid by providing either labour forces or tools and equipments to help remove tonnes of garbage and restore the lake to its glory. The government also helped in providing plants to plant on the banks on order to facilitate the filtration process in order to rejuvenate the ground water.

Currently Ramveer Tanwar is running his own NGO and is working as an environmentalist. Since 2015 Ramveer Tanwar has revived around 10 lakes in and around UP.

INTER ACTIVITY

WORD POWER

Fun way to review vocabulary. Unscramble and identify the words.

ezreeb airnwob mrebulla
dehurtn torms neasos
ecfostra lihngtgni deldup
lictame nhisnsue lezdrzi

ILLUSION

  1. Stare at the black dot for 20 second.
  2. Look at the sky
  3. Smile
Illusion

BRAIN TEASERS

BRAIN TEASERS
BRAIN TEASERS

In Formation

HIDDEN GEMS OF INDIA

HIDDEN GEMS OF INDIA
Chitrakote Falls - Chattisgarh

Have you heard of Niagara Falls in USA? Do you know India has its own Niagara Falls?

Chitrakote Falls, the widest waterfalls of India, form on river Indravati, near Jagdulpur district in Chhattisgarh. These falls are a 30m high falls forming a horseshoe gorge that resembles the Niagara Falls in US.

During the monsoons when the Indravati River gets flooded the waterfall covers the entire stretch of the horseshoe and flows fully fledged from left to right covering an area of 980 feet (300 meters). This fall is one of the 6 waterfalls in India that are classified as "geomorphosites".

The beautiful facade created by the fall can be seen throughout the year especially during the sunsets and the changing hues. You can go near the fall and enjoy the spectacle view via small boats that ferry around the fall turn by turn. Since the fall is quite high it creates misty clouds that produce a scenic view to behold. Below the falls there a sizeable semicircular pond where you can enjoy swimming and paddling. The adventure enthusiasts use boats in the stormy part of the pond.

Monsoon months from July to September are the best season to visit, when the falls are full of water. You might be lucky to see a beautiful rainbow running across the sky right after a rain. Located in the Kanger Valley National Park, gushing in all its glory the Chitrakoot falls form such a beautiful dreamy spectical that you may not want to stop looking at it.

FRUIT

FRUIT

Pear or Nashpati
Latin/Scientific Name - Pyrus

A Pear is a teardrop shape fruit. They are a mildly sweet fruit with a fibrous centre. Pears originated from Europe and Asia and can be classified mainly into 2 varieties. The Asian Pears which has a sandy texture and does not change after harvested. The European Pears are softer and turn juicy when they ripen.

A pear tree grows well in temperate humid climate, with an average life of 65 years. The pear tree is about 33 - 66 feet in height and bears pink or white flowers. The pear is a fleshy fruit can be easily baked, canned or eaten fresh. It can be used to make jellies, jams and juices.

Benefits :

Pears are rich in nutrients, dietary fibre and contains about 83 percent water. They are a source of instant energy as they contain high amount of glucose.

Being rich in nutrients like vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals they have high health benefits like - improving digestion, cancer prevention, boosting Immune system, preventing osteoporosis, controlling blood sugar levels and keeping the heart healthy.

RECIPE

RECIPE

Pear Slush
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

INGRIDIENTS:

  • Chopped and peeled ripe pear - 1 cup
  • Orange juice - 1/4 cup
  • Pineapple juice - 1/4 cup
  • Honey / Sugar - 2 tablespoons
  • Ice cubes - 6

PREPARATION:

Step 1:-Combine all ingredients in a blender till it is smooth

Step 2:-Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Step 3:-Can be served with chilled soda.

INGLISH

The Latin Abbreviations i.e., e.g., etc. & et al.

English language as we use in our day to day life comprises of several abbreviations that belong to the Latin origin. Let's have a look at some of these words that are common in everyday English language: -

INGLISH
INGLISH

    i.e. and e.g.

  • I.e. - I.e stands for "id est" which is Latin for "in other words". You can remember i.e. with "in essence" thereby making it easy to remember with the meaning and the correct place to use it.
  • Example: The test will be held after two days i.e. on the coming Wednesday

  • E.g. - E.g. originally stands for "example gratia" which in English is an alternative for "for example". Its usage is sometimes remembered by the pseudonym "example given" thus using the words at the correct place and not losing its literal meaning at the same time.
  • Example: The students had frequently exhibited irresponsible behaviour (e.g., coming late, failing to complete projects).

    i.e, clearly says that more precise information is being provided. e.g. on the other hand gives one or more possible examples.Where e.g. opens up more options, i.e. narrows them down.

    etc. and et al.

  • etc. - etc. is short for "et cetera," is a Latin origin word which means "and the rest". We use etc. to avoid giving a list of some items of similar kind.
  • Example: I would require pens, pencils, charts etc. for my project.

  • et al - Et al. is an abbreviation for et alia (neuter plural). This phrase simply means "and others."
  • Example: Sachin, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Kohli are great cricketers. This can be written as - Sachin et al. are great cricketers.

    We commonly use etc. in formal and informal writing, whereas et al. is mostly used in bibliographical writing. etc. applies to things, et al. applies to people.

    Grammar tips -

  • [There are many migration birds in India e.g. Bar Headed Goose, Greater flamingo etc.] Here etc. should not be added at the end, because e.g. itself means we are providing few examples.
  • Never begin a sentence with any of these abbreviations; if you want to begin a sentence with them always write the words out.

ANSWERS

WORD POWER
breeze rainbow umbrella
thunder storm season
forecast lightning puddle
climate sunshine drizzle
BRAIN TEASERS
Savvy:

Dev Raj Sikka - Dev Raj Sikka, also known as the father of the Indian Meteorology was the first to connect the El Nino effect to the Indian Monsoons.

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