Partnership with Arohana Grameenabhivruddi Samsthe on ‘Integrated Rural Development Project’

Biome has been actively collaborating with Arohana Grameenabhiruddi Samsthe to facilitate funding proposals and establish connections with potential partners and funders. Over the past year, several initiatives have been launched, including the mapping of lakes in the O Mittur Panchayat, lake desilting and rejuvenation, installation of rainwater harvesting systems in schools, tree plantation drives, and documentation of previous rejuvenation efforts.

CSR engagement is increasing for rural projects, focusing on institutional capacity building. While we have not yet achieved full independence in fundraising, we continue to serve as an interface with donors and CSRs. Biome handles donor proposals, documentation, and communication, while our role is beginning to integrate into proposals, contributing to self-financing and suitability for future projects. This approach frees up funds for future initiatives.

About the work:

Aarohana Grameen Abhivrudi Samsthe, led by Ms. Asha S, focuses on empowering women, conserving the environment, and improving rural education in Omittur Panchayat. Collaborating with Biome Environmental Trust, the organization initiated projects like rainwater harvesting and lake desilting, benefiting from Ms. Asha’s expertise.

The organization’s core focus on sustainable water management practices extends beyond mere environmental restoration. By engaging local communities, especially women, in these efforts, Aarohana fosters independence and resilience. She ensures the involvement of local communities, especially empowering women to achieve independence and resilience

One inspiring example comes from Bandahalli village, Omittur panchayat, where a mother and her daughter transitioned from daily wage laborers to owning cattle, thanks to their involvement in the local lake desilting projects. This transformation not only provided them with additional income but also symbolized a journey towards self-reliance and financial stability.

Working at Kaluve Desilting in Bandahalli (left) Cattle she bought by saving from Desilting work (Right)

The approach to lake desilting adopted by Aarohana transcends traditional methods, emphasizing a multifaceted understanding of hydrological science and community stewardship, crucial for long-term water security.

This circular economy model exemplifies how targeted investments can create self-sustaining ecosystems, benefiting the environment, economy, and community; by ensuring that money circulates among local businesses, organizations, and individuals, it fosters a self-sustaining economic environment.

The Circular Economy applied to a rural development context, emphasizing sustainability and community involvement.

Removing ipomoea from Talkunte Lake. JCB worked for 8 hours. About 20 tractor loads of ipomoea cleared.

Women from the village desilting Kaluves manually. Desilted Kaluves (left)

Biome and Arohana expect to continue the following works in the coming year:

  1. Continue engaging with the lakes: cleaning the drains leading to the lakes and rejuvenating open wells in Chitheri and Pichaguntlahalli villages
  2. Work with small farmers who had given up farming due to the pandemic, who have no other source of income, and who are keen to start again. Help them plant fruit trees such as mango, guava, etc in their lands. This can give them a steady income for the next 2 to 3 years
  3. Survey of the local Anganwadi and schools to see the areas of improvement needed
  4. Water and sanitation activity-based modules: train Arohana on these activities so they can then train the teachers in the O Mittur panchayat schools
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