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As part of a societal change measure aimed at empowering women, Avashya Foundation in collaboration with Light of Life Trust, one of its NGO partners and Nilkamal, a Mumbai-based plastic products manufacturing company distributed water wheels to 150 women farmers at the Jeevan Asha community centre in Tiware village in Karjat taluka of Raigad district in Maharashtra.
The distribution of the water wheels was envisioned as a gifting initiative as large parts of Maharashtra are reeling under a severe water shortage. Women often have to travel long distances for getting water carrying heavy water utensils of more than 22 litres on their head. This not only affects their physical health but can also lead to long-term problems like damage to the spinal cord and severe neck pain.
With a load carrying capacity of upto 45 litres of water, water wheels are an economic and viable alternative to transport water over longer distances. They can also be handled by children as young as five. Manufactured from durable material, water wheels also offer flexibility of mobility over rough surfaces. Helping women engage in economically productive activities, water wheels can be pivotal in helping women farmers to water their fruit bearing trees planted under the Maitree project of Avashya Foundation. This will not only increase the average yield per tree but also aid in improving the survival rates of the trees.
“Through this initiative, we have taken another meaningful step towards women’s empowerment. A small gesture of giving them water wheels will go a long way in reducing the women farmers’ physical efforts and leave them with more time and energy to participate in activities that add value to their lives and that of their families”, said Arathi Shetty, Avashya Foundation.
Agriculture assistant Mayuresh Mali demonstrated the use of the water wheel and elaborated its benefits through a series of photographs and video clips.
Dr. Nilratan Shende, GM – CSR, Allcargo Logistics, along with Dr. Ajay Saxena and Tom Harry from The Nature Conservancy, Delhi, interacted with farmers, visited fruit-bearing plants, provided guidance on irrigation methods and discussed challenges and remedies while tending to the plants.