Ram Kishore, Mahendra Singh Parmar and Ram Din are three farmers from the Dholpur district in Rajasthan who faced many challenges due to a severe scarcity of groundwater in the region. Their story, along with that of many others in their village, is one of hope as they were not only able to stay in their ancestral land.

In 2015, on an almost barren land, their community was able to cultivate 1,000 metric tonnes of potatoes, egg pants and pepper corn across 55,000 hectares. Through an initiative of The Coca-Cola India Foundation, ‘Anandana,’ and the Lupin Foundation, a check dam was constructed near Tontari village, along with the installation of a lift irrigation facility and water pipelines to deliver harvested rainwater directly to the farmers’ fields. Additionally, a 6.5-km long water reservoir, which could store 1.7 billion litres of water made multi-crop farming available to more than 11,000 people across five villages in the region.

 

In a region where even drinking water was insufficient, four crop cycles were able to be harvested leading to economic prosperity for many families. Once the villagers saw the results of keeping rainwater storied for longer periods of time, the next request they made to Coca-Cola was to install a lift irrigation system that pulls water from this check dam and uses a pipe line to transport water to the remotest fields in the village. Coca-Cola and Lupin Foundation agreed and today the results are for all to see.

Dholpur has become a model of prosperity for other villages in the country. With ground water levels rising as high as 8 to 10 feet due to the various initiatives, farmers are enjoying the benefits of enhanced income levels. Samar Singh, a 55-year old farmer proudly recounts that he has now learnt to manage water levels, cultivate high-yielding crops and get better prices for his produce.

Chandan Singh, a 54 year old farmer from the region recounts," Once, we did not have enough to buy us our daily meals. Now, we can feed the poor.” With the earnings from farming, Chandan is able to educate his son in the city and provide him a brighter future.