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An Oasis

Dongargaon Dist.Ahmadnager (Maharashtra)

Not long ago, getting a glass of water during summer in and around Dongargaon in Nagar taluka was hard. The dry lands spread all around the village bear the stark evidence of scarcity. However, fields near the Village now boast a pond with a capacity of 1.25 crore litres, thanks to the National Horticulture Mission. The pond is the result of hard work of Radhakisan Bhutkar who employed the age-old technique of siphon, as well as the drip irrigation system to water his farm. This story elaborated the efforts of Bhutkar.

  The very name of the village Dongargaon may create an image of a small village surrounded by hills: however the surroundings of Dongargaon (literally meaning village of hills ) are exactly opposite to the meaning conveyed by its name. The land all around the village is flat and moreover, it is dry. Where routine dry-land farming could have proved ill-affording, the very thought of horticulture was out of bounds till sometime back. However human efforts produce miraculous results at times, and Radhakisan Bhutkar, Lata Ramdas Bhutkar and other farmers at the small hamlet proved exactly the same. These farmers joined hand to construct a farm pond and resolved the perennial.

  Problem of water scarcity and have no embarked upon orchard farming. The National Horticulture Mission (NHM) helped them realizes the dream effort.

 The agricultural land of Bhutkar is situated at a little height and the pond he constructed at the field stands at a height of 18 feet from average level of the land. The pond has a land wall 1 meter wide. The huge pond is a treat for the eyes. The land has a well and a bore-well. Water drawn from these two sources is then brought to the pond. The pond also helps harvest rain water to some extent. By spending just Rs.6 lakh, Bhutkar has created a water body of a capacity of 1.25 crore litres. Of the Rs.6 lakh spent on the pond, Rs.4.54 lakh came from the National Horticulture Mission ( NHM) as a subsidy.

 lakh came from the National Horticulture Mission ( NHM) as a subsidy. An orchard of custard apple and (emblic) myroblalan ( amla, Indian gooseberry ) stands at the farm thanks to the water body. Bhutkar has planted 500 myrobalan trees and 400 custard apple trees, apart from 50 mango trees. In fact, the Bhutkars were famous for the orange orchard that they have been nurturing for years. Given the merges supply of water, they could have remained satisfied with the existent situation. However, that was not to be. He dreamt of creating a green patch on the same. dry land, and to fulfill the dream he approached NHM. Circle Agricultural Officer Z.A.Inamdar and Agricultural Assistant A.M.Pathan helped these farmers realize their noble dream.

  The NHM has provided a grant of Rs.50 per tree for the plantation. To provide green manual to the 12 hectare. Orchard, jute plantation has been carried out.

  Siphon has been an aged old technique employed for water supply. The same has been used here, given height of the pond from average land level. As the pond is situated at a little height, natural pressure is utilized for the water supply at the field. It leads to saving power.

 Bhutkar employed a technique, novel in the area, while constructing the pond. Instead of digging the pond in a centripetal manner, Bhutkar dug it in a centrifugal manner, bringing in ease in the effort.

  The farm pond under the NHM has brought in rich rewards for Bhutkar. Earlier during summer season, to sustain his orchards he had to bring water from a distance of over 20 kilometers. It involved expenses towards a tanker, the driver, fuel etc. On an average he had to spend Rs.500 per tanker. With the farm pond at the field itself now, all the money is saved. Bhutkar estimate that more than Rs.5 lakh are saved every year now. Apart from this the novelty he showed while dugging the pond (Centrifugal manner instead of centripetal manner) also brought in an undreamt of benefit for Bhutkar. People in and around his village now regard him as an expert in the field of construction of farm- pond and it has opened an avenue of earning money for him.

  All the family members of Bhutkar are engaged in the orchards. Apart from them, 5 men and 10 women work at the farm throughout the year. It has been a complementary benefit to the NHM. According to circle Agricultural Officer Z.A Inamdar, ‚ÄĚNobody would have thought of Horticulture at a place and like this. However, with the construction of the water body the Bhutkar have been able to do horticulture. Thanks to the NHM . They have been able in realizing their dream of creating a green patch over a field of 30 acres.


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