Recently Union Tribal Affairs Minister launched “1000 Spring Initiatives
- ‘1000 Springs Initiative’ aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in a difficult and inaccessible part of rural areas in the country. It is an integrated solution around natural springs.
About the Initiative
Provisions of the initiative
- The initiative includes
- The provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking
- Provision of water for irrigation
- community-led total sanitation initiatives and
- Provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens
- Generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people
GIS-based Spring Atlas
- Online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas has been developed to make these data easily accessible from an online platform. Presently, data of more than 170 springs have been uploaded on the Spring Atlas.
Training to tribal youths
- Under this initiative, more than 70 young tribal youths from the rural belt of three districts of Odisha namely, Kalahandi, Khand Amal and Gajapati have been trained as barefoot hydrogeologists by combining traditional and scientific knowledge for identification and mapping of springs and undertaking rejuvenation and protection measures in their habitations.
What are springs and their status?
- Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India.
- However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, it remains largely unrecognized and under-utilized.
- The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address the natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.