Situated at a marble hill in Rajsamand District of Rajasthan, about 350 km from Jaipur, Peeplantari has drawn the attention of policy-makers due to some of its outstanding initiatives. The registered population of the village is 5,138, but actually 8,500 people reside in the village—rest have come from other villages. The lone private school of the village was closed down in 2010 as all then people preferred to send their wards to government schools. The funds provided by the government have been utilised in highly transparent manner and mostly on permanent developmental work. The trees planted here some time back have now started giving income to the Panchayat.
The development process gained momentum here in 2005 when Shri Shyamsunder Paliwal was elected as Sarpanch. Since water level then was below 750 feet, the immediate concern was how to ensure water as many families had migrated due to it. As a beginning, trees on large scale were planted on Panchayat land and check dams were built on the stony hill utilising the funds provided under MGNREGA and by Watershed Department. Some contribution was made by the villagers also.
“We dug small pits on the hill and also check dams to store rain water. It proved very helpful in protecting the trees and also recharging the wells and other water bodies. As a result the water level started increasing and now it is just at 8 feet deep, which once used to be below 750 feet. Now people including officials from all over the State visit Peeplantari to study the project,” says Shri Paliwal while talking to Organiser.
A committee of villagers keeps a close watch on the implementation process to ensure transparency.
Another major initiative is for protecting the girl child. FD of Rs 31,000 is maintained in the bank in the name of every girl born in any family. Apart from it, planting saplings in the name of near and dear ones has become a movement here. Trees are planted when a child is born or anyone dies in the family.
People look after the trees like their own kids. As a result there is now a dense forest in the village, which once used to be a desert. Over 2.86 lakh trees have been planted since 2005. Concrete efforts have been made to preserve the gochar land also. Impressed with the wonderful performance Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje visited the village along with her officials and ordered for implementing the Peeplantari Model of water conservation throughout the State. (PK)
Peeplantari in Rajsamand District, Rajasthan
Location: 350 km from Jaipur
* Ground water level, which used to be 750 feet below in 2005 is now at just 8 feet
* Planted over 2.86 lakh saplings developing a dense forest
* Many families got employment through making herbal products from Allovera, etc
* The people who migrated due to water scarcity are now returning back