News Digest - September 2019

In our Memories Always.... Priyank Joshi

It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague – Dr. Priyank Joshi (1981-2019).  Priyank, a WOTRian for about 15 years, had his life tragically cut short in July 2019.  He was an inspirational leader, incredibly passionate about serving in the development sector and leaves behind a big void in the hearts of all his well-wishers, friends, family and thousands of rural community members he worked with. 

'In our Memories Always' is a tribute to our dear Priyank – with messages from many of his close associates.  We seek your prayers for his young wife, little son and his elderly parents that they have the courage to bear this loss and that the Almighty grant peace to his departed soul. 
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Highlights of the month

WOTR's Participation at UNCCD COP 14

WOTR's Participation at UNCCD COP 14

We are pleased to share updates from the UN Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation, held from September 2 – 13, 2019 in Delhi. WOTR was actively engaged in several panel discussions, made presentations, and also had a place at the Exhibition Centre. The team, including WOTR’s senior management and researchers contributed to discussions on various aspects - from sustainable agriculture, improved water governance and management, biodiversity conservation to climate change adaptation interventions with gender and institutional capacity building. Read more for the details and itinerary of WOTR participation at the international event. 
SIED receives Special Jury Award at 6th CSR Impact Awards 2019
We are excited to receive the CSR Impact Award at the India CSR Summit 2019 to our sister organisation Sanjeevani Institute of Empowerment & Development (SIED) for its work on the Holistic Rural Development Project (HRDP) in Maharashtra. This project is being supported by HDFC Bank. Read more

New publication

Water security through community-led water resources development 
WOTR with the support from CLP Wind Farms (Khandke) Private Limited initiated the “Water security through community-led water resources development" project in 15 Villages of Ahmednagar and Beed districts of Maharashtra. The project has benefited the village communities by improved access to water for domestic and agricultural purposes. The project has also created awareness through activities like water budgeting, soil testing, and training in preparation of organic formulations in this project impact assessment report. Read more

WOTR in the News
Desertification in India: Soiled Dhule land is shallow, unfit for plantation

About 64 Percent of Maharashtra’s Dhule district is under desertification or land degradation. Most parts of the district show moderate to very severe erosion. In this article in 'DownToEarth' Magazine, Dr. Marcella D’Souza, Director W-CReS says, "The only way to stop this erosion is by regenerating the forest using soil and water conservation measures". Read more

As Droughts Spread Across India, So Does Water Budgeting

This article in Undark Magazine describes WOTR's work not only to improve the supply of water but also to manage the demand of water by educating the communities through water budgeting process. Read more

Villages in India combating desertification

This story is covered by French publication 'Libération' on how WOTR has been helping farmers across Maharashtra for more than 25 years to fight against desertification. Read more

If not here, then where? If not now, then when? If not you, then who?: An interview with representatives of WOTR

WOTR has now grown into an organisation that spans 7 states of the country and provided training to nationals of 63 countries. Here is an interview with WOTR's senior management in 'Convivio mundi e.V.', that describes WOTR's journey and approach to watershed development and rural development. Read more
WOTR article

Organic Inputs For Farming Improve Sustainability In The Long Run

Dumari Singh, in the Banar village of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district, is one of the 144 million agricultural labourers in India. In 2012, WOTR took up a watershed development project in Banar, after which Dumari Singh could grow kodokutki (inferior millets), and later in 2016, he started growing arhar (pigeon peas) and toor (split peas).Thanks to the project, his life changed for the better. Read more about the impact of the project.

Stakeholders Consultation Meeting

WOTR was invited to showcase its work on Watershed Development in the Godavari Basin, at the recently held 'Stakeholders Consultation Meeting (Maharashtra State) for the rejuvenation of Godavari, Krishna and Narmada Rivers through Forestry Interventions'. Our Senior Researchers Hemant Pinjan and Vijayasekaran Duraisamy presented the key findings from research studies such as the change in land use/ land cover (LULC). Read more

Desertification hits the poor hardest

At the recent UNCCD COP 14, India raised its target for restoring degraded land from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares by 2030. How is this target to be achieved? Listen to the podcast with our Deputy Director Rishu Garg, in which he explains that in order to achieve this target a transformative action with a change of mindset at the national and state level is required. Read more
Latest Film

Creating an Enabling Environment for Upscaling Ecosystem based Adaptation EbA

In this video by TMG ThinkTank, WOTR's Senior Researcher, Arjuna Srinidhi speaks on mainstreaming and scaling-up of Ecosystem-based Adaptation projects at the Global Soil Week 2019 held in Nairobi, Kenya. Watch it here
WOTRian of the Month - Vandana Patekar

Vandana Patekar is currently Deputy Manager (Social) at our Regional Resource Centre in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. She has been with WOTR since 2000. She shares her story in September’s WOTRian of the month'

“Maintaining and improving the gender balance in rural society is difficult. Even today, in rural areas, women are not looked upon at par with men. It is not always easy to motivate women to attend programmes or take part in different activities in such a gender stratified society.  There is so much to learn in the field of gender equity and development.” Read more

Photogallery for the month of September 2019

A Farmer Field School on paddy, organised by WOTR and Government of Maharashtra in Maweshi village, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra

Participants of a 'Kisan Mela' (Farmers Gathering) under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan Yojana in Dhandhuret village, Karauli, Rajasthan

A Farmer Field School (FFS) on System of Crop Intensification & composting being conducted in Narayanpet, Telangana

Manik Ozar of Akole, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra demonstrating the System of Rice Intensification in practice

A Farmer Field School (FFS) on System of Crop Intensification & composting being conducted in Narayanpet, Telangana