How can we help with drought relief in Maharashtra?

I have followed news on Maharashtra drought for days. It is most frustrating that there is little obvious drought relief. The need is water. What can we do?

I am just trying to brainstorm ways how we might be able to help.

  1. Reliable information from the ground indicates that there is a full fledged private water tanker business thriving on the needs of the people. Funds donated to drought relief organizations are often scammed – either as single delivery for multiple payments or other ways. The government tankers are usually missing, forcing people to purchase water.
  2. Rampant quantities of water are being extracted from the already depleted ground water and most of this water continues to go to industries buying in bulk while the usage that gets publicized is the far less quantity for human consumption in the name of drought relief.
  3. There is a need to figure out ways of forcing a halt on ground water extraction for any reasons beyond humanitarian relief.
  4. Donating things that will help people use less water. Disposable paper plates, such as could help save on dish washing water.
  5. Simple technologies like solar water sills that might help them get potable water out of waste water?
  6. Really trusted feminists and rights workers possibly offering residential housekeeping work to women who need to get out of the place – as an alternative to some of the worse desperate solutions? I don’t know. Just thinking out loud.
  7. Collect contacts for various funds and people on the ground and verify and analyze them to see who is likely to bring most impact and promote those and encourage people to help there.

We could start a community on the new Desi Pirates site for people who are able to get involved in drought to see if we can come up with solutions. The drought is going nowhere. The worst of summer is still ahead of us. Are there ways we can help lighten the burden?

Do you have ideas? Comment below. What is the most genius idea you can come up with that can help people who have little water and even less chances of more water in the near future? How can you help them cope?

Do you live in a drought hit area of Maharashtra? Or are willing to travel there to help (on own expense) if some idea needs it? Volunteer in the comments so we can keep track of you.

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15 thoughts on “How can we help with drought relief in Maharashtra?”

  1. I am from kalyan east. we at our area celebrate ganpati usav for 11 days. God grase we r completing 25 yrs of our ganpati understanding a situation nd pain our belonging who r suffering draught we hav decided not to make huge expenses rather than our mandal is ready to donate full danpati collection as a relief us how to help.our mandal locates vijaynager kalyan east.Mayur mithr mandal… phn number.plz contact us..

  2. Hi,
    I am planning to run from virar to Churchgate on 15th Augest, 2014 for the cause and collect as many water bottle’s.
    My idea is 1 person 1 bottle.
    if a single person can donate a bottle each then it can make a huge difference and MUMBAI has a huge amount of public
    we have social media these days and i am sure i can reach out to maximum numbers for the cause.
    please let me know the details of the affected areas so i can start to plan out for the event

  3. Hello All,

    I am from Pune. As I understand worst affected areas are Jalna, Buldhana, Yavatmaal, Wardha and Gadhchiroli where there is huge water scarcity. I would like to visit one of the villages in Buldhana or Jalna. If you or anyone you know is from these districts, please contact me or provide the contact details of the person you know so that I can find out more and organize the visit. Also does anybody know how much would it cost to get a water tanker in one of these drought affected areas? I can ask more people to come with me so that more then one village (or more then one tanker in one village as per the need) can be provided with water.

    Any contact detail/information/suggestions is greatly appreciated.


    Kunal Dhulekar.

  4. Hello All,

    I visited key affected areas in Aurangabad & Jalna district and as it appears that the situation is worse and the remedial measures to be carried out by the government officials as a part of their “package” are working with an efficiency of 20% i.e. out of 2,156 water tankers which were siad to be deployed, only 400 are actually seen and even those are not regular. With such situation, most of the villagers are privately buying water. Please note that the situation is quite ironic in Aurangabad where water supply is plenty and regular, also, the water quality is unquestionable.

    Considering the current situation there are multiple solutions to be implemented:
    – Portable solar distiller: to be used for obtaining drinking water
    – Water tankers: water tankers to be arranged in critical regions through private funds, district collectors will also be notified for any discrepancies in actual implementation of mitigation strategies as per government;
    – Employment: employment will be provided to the farmers in nearby regions;

    Cost of each Solar distiller is around Rs. 2500 and now I am trying to collect funds to buy these distillers.

    Let me know if you can add to solutions which I have currently thought of.


  5. I live in Nashik and would like to help in a financial manner , I am a salaried person.
    Their is no need for anyone to suffer when India is flush with funds and we are the world’s largest arms importer.

  6. Hello All,

    Aurangabad is my hometown and it has now been impossible for me sit back see it falling it apart with the recent drought. Hence, I will be visiting Aurangabad on March 21 & 22. I will try to cover as much villages as I can during my visit. I have a set of people from a local NGO who will be assisting me during the process.

    Our tasks not only involve direct help to the villagers through regular visits but also to push the district collector to deliver mitigation tasks on ASAP basis. [Do note that the collector has not published single mitigation strategy for the drought yet.]

    To all the readers in case most of you are based in Mumbai, I would like to schedule a small meeting after my visit where I can share my site based experience and we might be able to come up with a better policy to deal with this issue. In case you are interested please post here. We can choose a weekend or suitable schedule for the meeting.

    Let’s hope that things will get better and if not let us make them bloody better…

    Thank you.
    – Mandar

  7. Apart from what individual contribution drive , we should publically ask temple charitable trusts like shirdiwhich are relatively flushed with funds to donate funds for long term water conservation drives / projects and supply of tanker waters to address the immediate needs !

  8. Hello Vidyut & All,

    I am Mandar Khodegaokar from Mumbai, India. Have to say, the videos and especially the letter was quite comprehensive. I appreciate all of your dedication towards well being of our country.

    My hometown is Aurangabad and it has now become impossible for me to sit back and see how the drought is leading to deaths and major migration of the villagers from their hometown.

    I will be visiting Aurangabad on 21st and 22nd of March and will try to cover as much villages around as much as I can and will update the info here. I have certain set of people from a NGO to assist me and we are not only trying to help the villagers via direct visits but also by pushing the district collector to deliver the mitigation tasks through accelerated approach. [By the way, there has not been a single letter published (about mitigation strategies) by collector yet, over drought issue.]

    Till then please start putting ideas on this page as much as you can, I will try to implement whatever is possible. If most of the readers here are based in Mumbai, maybe we can have a meeting over this issue where I could share the current scenario from the ground. Do let me know if that is possible.

    Thank you again.
    – Mandar R. Khodegaokar

  9. Lets first understand the need for water. As each need can have different solution:

    Washing self
    Washing utensils 
    Washing clothes

    Let’s take each one separately.

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