Suvidha International Foundation, a California registered Non-Profit, successfully organised 3 run for Water events in 2023; 5,000 walk/run in Sacramento, California on April 23, 5,000 and 10,00 walk/run on July 15 in Fremont, California and 5,000 walk/run on August 26 in Redmond, Washington to promote health in the community and support River Rejuvenation water projects in India. Suvidha International Foundation partnered with the Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) in organising these three events. Silicon Valley Global Impact Rotary Club joined the Suvidha International Foundation in organising the Fremont run event. More than 500 individuals representing diverse ethnic backgrounds from three different cities enthusiastically joined their respective city’s “Run for Water” event, experiencing a delightful time walking or running either 5K or 10K distances.
Can we envision a daily life without access to water for fundamental needs such as drinking, cooking, and farming? Unfortunately, this harsh reality is a common experience for numerous communities, particularly those living in economically deprived regions. During these three events, Bhaskar Vempati, the founder and president of Suvidha International Foundation, highlighted the urgent significance of water scarcity, a global issue affecting millions of people.
During the Run for Water events, Mr Vempati addressed the audience, emphasising that the event’s proceeds go towards supporting River Rejuvenation Water Projects in India. He further noted that Suvidha International has been collaborating with the Art of Living Foundation to drive these initiatives in Andhra Pradesh. Both the Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) and Overseas Volunteers for a Better India (OVBI) have been actively engaged in water-related projects since 2013. Detailed information about the river rejuvenation water projects can be found at the following websites: https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/projects/river-rejuvenation and https://eliminatingwaterpoverty.org/.
Pooja Gupta, representing the Art of Living Foundation and Dolly Parikh, President of Silicon Valley Global Impact Rotary Club highlighted the alarming water crisis currently facing both the global and Indian contexts. Pooja pointed out that India, in particular, is grappling with its most severe water crisis in four decades, with 54 per cent of the Indian subcontinent now resembling a water-stressed arid region, witnessing the rapid depletion of many rivers. Experts predict that India will confront a severe water shortage by 2025 if immediate preventive measures are not undertaken. In response to this looming crisis, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has motivated the Art of Living community to embark on a mission to rejuvenate lost rivers across various regions of India, along with restoring other vital water bodies like ponds, wells, canals, and temple tanks. The River Rejuvenation Project, initiated in 2013 with a commitment to provide a sustainable and enduring solution, has successfully revitalised 33 ailing rivers in four states—Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. This monumental effort has brought relief to over 3,000 villages to date, combating the impending water crisis.
The event organising teams are diligently working across different regions. In Redmond, the 5K Run/10K Walk team is led by Sandeep Raichura, Naresh Charugundla, Raina Lodha, Ramakanth Kakani, Leela Murali Yegireddy, Vinod Parna, Srinivas Geddam, Suresh Thummalapenta and Shruti Ratnam. In the Bay Area, the event is orchestrated by Uday Jarajapu, Chetty Garuda, Pooja Gupta, Satya Purshan, Srikiran Tadikonda, Hari Tirumanadham, and Deepak Bhatter. Meanwhile, the dedicated organisers in Sacramento include Avinash Maddy, Priya Maddy, and Vandna Sharma. These teams collectively contributed their unwavering efforts and commitment to ensure the success of their respective events.
Mr Uday Jarajapu, from the event organising committee, adopted a village for water projects to support the cause.
Numerous participants and supporters of the 5K Walk and 10K Run expressed their gratitude for the event and urged Suvidha International to consider organising similar events across different regions of the United States in the future to further support the cause.
Additional Details of River Rejuvenation Water Projects
Partnering with Vyakthi Vikas Kendra India – VVKI and Art of Living Foundation, Suvidha International Foundation drives river rejuvenation projects in six districts of Andhra Pradesh State including YSR-Kadapa, Anantapur, Chittoor, Kurnool, Srikakulam, and Prakasam.
The project kicked off in the districts of YSR-Kadapa and Anantapur, with plans to later extend to encompass the remaining districts. According to the plan, 983 villages and 28.82 lakhs people in Kadapa and 921 villages and 40.81 lakhs people in Anantapur will benefit from the construction of Recharge Bore Wells, Recharge Wells, Water Pools, Rock Fill Dams, and SubSurface Dykes. The project is going to build over 30,000 plus microstructures including boulder checks, recharge wells, recharge borewells, water pools, and subsurface dykes. After the completion of these structures, the groundwater tables will be improved.
The project is anticipated to span a duration of three to four years for its implementation. Its primary objectives include enhancing groundwater levels, restoring environmental flow in the depleted streams of Pennar Upper and Lower Rivers and their respective basins, as well as Papagni River, Sagileru Lower River, Cheyyeru River, and Tungabhadra lower basin. Moreover, it aims to bolster water availability for the flora and fauna within the riverine ecosystem while concurrently promoting climate resilience by striking a balance between flood and drought mitigation.
Brief Introduction of Suvidha International Foundation
Suvidha International Foundation (https://suvidhainternational.org/) drives a wide range of service projects including providing educational support to over 100 disadvantaged students, constructing river rejuvenation projects and planting trees that benefit over five million farmers, empowering youth and women through various programs, providing food and essential items to neglected children and senior citizens, and promoting educational, youth empowerment and volunteering activities.