Rajasthan, fight for water
An extract of an order from France Libertés – Danielle Mitterrand Foundation
In India, until the nineteenth century, in Rajasthan there was neither private nor collective property, but common goods operated according to community rules. Traditional water management was a convincing and effective example. This ancestral organization was dismantled by the British colonization which privatized the goods and nationalized the infrastructure projects, movement confirmed and amplified with the Indian independence in the middle of the XX ° century. The modernization ensured by large projects (dams, river valleys, Indira Gandhi canal, etc.) has removed residents from the management of their natural environment. In parallel, all the institutions of the territory have put a cross on this local history.
Modernized water management in the Thar Desert has placed the local population under multifaceted dependence. It relieved it of this management, by handing over to a superior organization the mission of designing it and enModernized water management in the Thar Desert has placed the local population under multifaceted dependence. It relieved it of this management, by handing over to a superior organization the mission of designing it and ensuring it. It uses technical tools and devices which are no longer locally designed, which involve investments beyond the reach of village purses and which do not offer the same guarantees of efficiency and quality as the previous ones, more modest but designed to last.
France Libertés – Danielle Mitterrand Foundation has set itself the task of promoting the effective right of access to water for all. Its actions are accompanied by advocacy work with decision-makers and awareness-raising, information and citizen mobilization around major water-related issues, in the North as well as in the South. It is in this context that she supports projects around the world
In the Thar Desert – Rajasthan – she is a partner of Gravis. One of the main actions of this Indian NGO is the promotion of rainwater harvesting to better cope with drought. The Thar Desert suffers from an average annual rainfall of less than 20 cm, a lack of infrastructure and essential services for water, health and education.