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Overcoming Water Scarcity through Collective Actions

An update from Banjara Community (Raipura, Rajasthan)

By Meetu Kapoor | Updated: 6 July 2023 14:00 IST

In a remarkable triumph over adversity, the Banjara Basti community in Raipura, Rajasthan, has successfully tackled the long-standing issue of water scarcity that plagued their lives. This nomadic tribe, residing amidst a mountain-surrounded dry valley, had endured water shortage for generations. However, through relentless efforts and the unwavering spirit of their female Sarpanch representative, the community's quest for water has finally borne fruit. This achievement not only provides immediate relief but also exemplifies the strength and resilience of a community united.

Water Scarcity: A Lingering Challenge

The Banjara Basti, comprising 42 closely-knit families, had long been overlooked by the local government bodies and leaders, leaving them grappling with severe water scarcity. As the summer months intensified, the community's sole reliance on a hand pump installed by the Bal Ashram Trust proved insufficient for their daily water needs. Faced with this dire situation, the community sought the support of their Sarpanch, Ms. Geeta Devi, in addressing the issue.

A community social activist from the Bal Ashram Trust accompanied the people from the community to inform the concerned department and investigate the matter. Several meetings and strategies were implemented to educate the community about the importance of government schemes. Linking and educating communities about government schemes is one of the ways the Bal Ashram Trust aims to solve grassroots challenges and benefit the communities.

Collective Action and Determination

Ms. Geeta Devi, the first elected woman from the Banjara Community, took up the cause, recognizing the urgency and significance of resolving the water crisis. Joined by the community members and local administration, they embarked on an arduous eight-month journey to find a solution. Numerous written and verbal complaints were submitted, shedding light on the persistent water scarcity faced by the Banjara Basti.

Advocacy and Empowerment

To amplify their voices and seek support, Ms. Geeta Devi and the community rallied together, reaching out to the local MLA, Shri Kanti Prasad Meena. Their impassioned plea for intervention found receptive ears, as the request was granted, marking a pivotal moment in their struggle.

Transformation through Infrastructure

The turning point came with the initiation of a 1.5km ground water connection project. A pipeline, carefully laid beneath the surface, snaked its way towards the Banjara Basti, ensuring equitable access to water for each household. With the completion of this endeavor, the community bid farewell to their sole dependence on the hand pump, thereby eradicating the worry of water scarcity that had long haunted them.

Empowering Communities, Aligned with SDGs

The success of the Banjara Basti community in overcoming water scarcity resonates with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, SDG 6, "Clean Water and Sanitation," emphasizes the universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. By realizing this goal within their community, the Banjara Basti exemplifies the power of collective action and community-led solutions in addressing global challenges such as climate change and water scarcity.


The journey of the Banjara Basti community in Raipura stands as a testament to the strength and determination of individuals united by a common cause. Through their relentless efforts, led by their visionary Sarpanch, Ms. Geeta Devi, the community has overcome the shackles of water scarcity. As the tap connections bring forth a new era of prosperity, the Banjara Basti can serve as an inspiration to other marginalized communities facing similar challenges worldwide. Their success reinforces the transformative power of collective action and highlights the importance of inclusive development in building a sustainable future for all.

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