Inception of Gomukh Trust
The drought of 1972, which shattered the agriculture and economy of the State of Maharashtra, brought to the fore the failure of large dams. It became evident that dependency on centralized monolithic systems would only secure an uncertain future for a vast majority of rural and hill & forest communities. Realization of a need for decentralized alternatives triggered sustained explorations and experimentation in this direction mostly by the non-governmental agencies and individuals. Some of the founder members of Gomukh Trust were among those who witnessed and shared this epoch of unrest. Since 1972, they were actively involved in a battle against the large dams, and a battle for more decentralized, people-oriented, sustainable alternatives. Nearly 20 years of relentless efforts and turmoil finally led to the establishment (towards 1990’s) of ‘Integrated Watershed Development’ as a partial alternative to the large dams.
The formal inclusion of watershed development in the package of the Government’s water resources development programme certainly came as a landmark achievement. Yet, in the following years several serious shortcomings of the programme surfaced. The watershed development programme sponsored by the Government focused only on the drought-hit and drought-prone areas, and almost completely omitted the hilly regions such as the Western Ghats in Maharashtra on the ground that they represented a high-rainfall zone. In reality, however, these areas were equally vulnerable to acute water scarcity on account of an extremely low water holding capacity of their terrain on year-round basis. The misery of the hill dwellers was further aggravated by the laws, which prevented the use of waters of the large dams within their catchments. Besides the human factor, these hilly stretches also happened to be highly bio-diverse and ecologically fragile in nature, where water served as the key parameter responsible for an overall integrity of the ecosystems.
Gomukh Trust came into existence as a response and reaction to this inadequate and lop sided approach of the Government’s watershed development programme. A complete omission of hilly areas from the programme had resulted in deprivation of the millions from their basic right to well managed water resources, besides also leaving their ecosystems in a state of over exploitation and rapid deterioration.
Gomukh Trust’s Vision
To create a society where natural resources and ecosystems are restored and the poor can lead a self sufficient and dignified life. To facilitate social mobilization work along with the use of appropriate technology for soil and water conservation. To lay a solid foundation for equitable and fair resource utilization.
To create a society where natural resources and ecosystems are restored and the poor can lead a self sufficient and dignified life.
To facilitate social mobilization works along with the use of appropriate technology for soil and water conservation.
To lay a solid foundation for equitable and fair resource utilization.
Sustainable Agricultural Development for marginal farmers.
Promote irrigation management with equitable distribution of water.
Rural Development through Integrated Watershed Management approach.
Up-scaling of the smaller river valleys to a large river basin through Integrated River basin Management.