WOTR Marks Shramdaan Diwas in Tribute to Hermann Bacher’s Legacy, Mobilizing Massive Community Engagement Across 8 States

Fostering Resilience: Shramdaan Diwas Sets the Stage for a Groundswell of Community-Led Environmental Action

PUNE, India, Oct. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) celebrated Shramdaan Diwas on October 12, the birthday of its late co-founder, Hermann Bacher, with community service activities spanning across Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. This tribute underscored Bacher’s lifelong commitment to community mobilization and environmental conservation, yielding substantial on-ground results and widespread participation.

WOTR's team at a 'Shramdaan' event in Mandalawadi village of Pune district, Maharashtra

“Shramdaan Diwas resonates deeply with everyone at WOTR. Hermann Bacher, who left us in 2021, pioneered transformative, community-led watershed development, altering countless lives across rural India and shaping the country’s response to drought. His ethos transcended conservation, focusing on community empowerment and recognizing that impactful change originates from grassroots levels. Shramdaan Diwas is not only a celebration but a homage to Bacher’s extraordinary dedication and the sense of resolve he has instilled in the WOTR community,” reflected Prakash Keskar, Executive Director of WOTR.

This Shramdaan Diwas saw remarkable engagement, with concerted activities across 102 villages in eight states and the enthusiastic participation of 6,353 individuals, including WOTR personnel and villagers. These efforts culminated in significant environmental enhancements, including trenching, bunding, and various other land treatment, amounting to a substantial 988.20 cubic meters of work. Furthermore, 53 water harvesting structures were created, reinforcing ecological sustainability.

“The extensive efforts during Shramdaan Diwas stand as a living tribute to Hermann Bacher’s enduring vision,” stated Prakash Keskar. “The achievements of this day, from significant soil and water conservation measures to the fostering of communal ties, extend beyond quantifiable outcomes — they mark progressive steps towards sustainable living and societal strengthening.”

WOTR acknowledges these collaborative undertakings, indicative of a deep-seated commitment to local inhabitants and the wider community. These initiatives, in harmony with Bacher’s principles, emphasize the transformative power of collective action.

“Today’s accomplishments reinforce Hermann Bacher’s conviction in the strength of community collaboration,” added Keskar. “This spirit of unity and shared responsibility continues to guide our journey towards environmental balance and communal harmony.”

Embracing Bacher’s legacy, the organization remains steadfast in its pursuit of cooperative involvement and sustainable progression.

About Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR)

WOTR is a nationally and globally recognized leader and think tank in rural development, committed to eradicating the root causes of rural poverty. The organization stands at the forefront of ecosystem rejuvenation and community resilience strengthening in the face of climate change.

Through initiatives aimed at enhancing water availability, improving land and agricultural productivity, diversifying livelihoods, empowering women, and bolstering the health and well-being of vulnerable rural communities, WOTR has significantly transformed rural landscapes. Its unique approach convenes a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, fostering collaborative efforts to build rural community resilience.

Celebrating 30 years of impactful operation, WOTR has worked in 5,107 villages across 10 states in India, bringing positive change to 4.95 million individuals. For more insights into WOTR’s work and impact, please visit WOTR’s website.

Stay updated with WOTR’s latest activities and achievements on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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