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Bhilwara, Rajasthan
         
Agro-ecological Zone :

Northern Plain (and Central Highlands) including Aravallis

  Project Districts :

Bhilwara, Ajmer and Jaipur

River basin : Mej, Menali, Khari and Lilri   Mean Annual Rainfall : 699 mm
Major Soil Types : Deep loamy grey brown and alluvium-derived soils   Forest Types : Tropical Dry Deciduous and Dry Thorn Forests
Major Habitats : Forests, Grasslands, Gorges, Farmlands   Nearest Protected Area : Bhensrodgarh wildlife sanctuary and Bassi wildlife sanctuary
Threatened Species : Great Indian Bustard, Long-billed Vulture   Percentage of Common Lands including Forest : 55%
Percentage of People Living below Poverty Line : 33%   Percentage of Scheduled Castes/Tribes : 23%
Area under Protection : 26,617 ha   Village Institutions Associated With : 401
Total Households of Project Villages : 44,262   Indigenous Communities : Bhils and Meenas

Description

Located in Bhilwara our activities spread across both Bhilwara and Ajmer districts in the basins of the Mej, Menali and Lilri rivers. The Aravalli and Vindhyan ranges cut across the terrain at several points. Commons and forests cover about 55% of the total land and the typical vegetation is dry deciduous and tropical thorny scrub forest. Being a drought-prone area with poor average annual rainfall, rain-fed agriculture and animal husbandry are the major means of rural livelihoods here.

Launched in 1995, the team presently works with 424 community institutions that protect and manage over 27,423 hectares of common land comprising revenue wastelands, grazing lands, and forestlands. Interventions to improve vegetation on revenue wastelands, and collective regulation over vast stretches of grazing lands over the past few years have gradually revived hydrological regimes and improved biomass production. This in turn, has improved prospects of animal husbandry and double cropping in agriculture.

Enthused by such positive impact and gaining confidence from the successful functioning of village-level institutions, the local village institutions have emerged as vibrant bodies that leverage both support and funds from government and other programmes to improve both village infrastructure and natural surroundings. Over the years the village institutions have matured and have initiated debates on equitable and judicious use of natural resources.

Facilitating ecological restoration under NREGA has certainly broadened our reach and positively influenced our dialogue with Panchayati Raj institutions. We continue to strengthen linkages and improve interaction between village collectives, government agencies and other civil society organizations which would individually and collectively contribute to the development of the region. Besides expanding our eco restoration activities to neighbouring areas and initiating interventions to strengthen farming systems, we are supporting community-driven actions aimed at building a body of individuals and institutions that would steer the developmental interventions of the region towards conservation of natural resources.

 

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