Krishi Avam Paristhitiki Vikas Sansthan (KRAPAVIS)

KRAPAVIS is a grass-roots organization concerned chiefly with the community-led revival of village forests, or orans, working in the arid of Thar Desert and semi - arid of Aravali hill bio-regions in Rajasthan. KRAPAVIS mission is clear: the betterment of ecology, agriculture and livestock practices, with a view to the sustainable livelihoods of rural pastoral communities in Rajasthan.
Jul 27, 2010

Response to Changing Livestock Needs in the Orans

In Nathusar village, where through the GG assistance KRAPAVIS helped the village community for their oran renovation; today it is buffaloes that use these orans for grazing and wallowing, especially during the lean parts of the year. Goats and sheep also graze these orans in large numbers. When livestock (buffalo, goats and cows) become ill traditional healers are able to identify and apply plants (in the form of a paste or powder), from orans, that have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving qualities. The orans’ mahatma’s practices also have a preventative dimension; in order to ensure that livestock is protected from sickness and other evil forces he is called upon to ‘anoint’ the animals using twigs from the neem (Azadirachta indica) tree (the jhara dena ritual). Specialist knowledge of this sort is not limited to the mahatma; most of the older generations are aware of various plants used to treat, among other things, sore throats, migraines, open wounds and osteoarthritis. And in many villages, tribal communities still gather once a year for the ‘dudh ki dhar dena’ ritual, during which milk is collected from each household and then drizzled around the sacred grove with the whole village following in procession. This practice is thought toward off evil spirits for the coming year.

Apr 30, 2010

Orans protect watersheds and water sources in Dry Rajasthan

Most orans have sources of water, either small springs or rivulets running through them or a variety of ponds e.g. johad and nadis, tank, baori, well, tanka, kund etc. Indeed, from a water conservation standpoint, orans are hugely important for a state like Rajasthan. Thus we utilised traditional water-harvesting techniques in conjunction with modern scientific expertise (i.e. watershed approach, hydro-techniques, etc.) to rehabilitate or recreate water storage structures, named as ‘Oran Talab’ and thereby to provide optimal solutions to water dispersion in degraded lands. Talab is constructed at a place, which has maximum run-off contributing into it. The topography of the catchments is a square / circular and tributaries tend to come together and join the main stream somewhere near the centre of the area and thus water get collected into talab. This is important in terms of providing water for irrigation and drinking purpose. The Talab is constructed solely from local materials – clay, stone/ rock, grasses and buffalo dung - which serve to keep them affordable and replicable. In some cases, from the talab, lays pipelines to agricultural fields for the purposes of irrigation.

Dec 23, 2009

Oran Policy

The first ever Forest Policy for Rajasthan “RAJASTHAN STATE FOREST POLICY 2009”, has very recently drafted by the State Government, acknowledges the ground realities of the management forest cover and orans in the State, for which KRAPAVIS has been advocating for so long! On the whole, it looks a very good document in spirit. If people's participation is taken in its true spirit then it may even turn out to be a model forestry policy in the country.

One of the Objectives in the policy document reads as; “3.1.7. Conservation of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna of the state by undertaking in-situ and ex-situ conservation majors, apart from conserving and managing biodiversity-rich ecosystems such as grasslands, orans, wetlands etc.”

One of the Strategies of the state policy reads as: “5.10 Orans / Dev Van 5.10.1. Orans / Dev vans are islands of good forests and repositories of rich biodiversity. These orans / dev van are excellent examples of people’s religious faith linked with conservation. Efforts will be made to provide necessary financial and legal support in consonence with local religious ethos of the local community. 5.10.2. District wise inventory and database will be prepared for all such areas with the support of local NGOs and religious trusts. These areas declared as deemed forest as per the provision of Forest Conservation Act (1980). However, demarcation of such orans / dev vans on the ground as well as on cadastral maps is an urgent necessity. 5.10.3. For management of these orans / dev vans a committee of local people and trustees of the temple can be constituted and fully empowered to protect these areas.”

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