Southern Rajasthan is semi-arid region with a hilly terrain, having an erratic weather pattern making the region vulnerable to climatic variation. Due to erratic monsoon and undulating terrain, water harvesting is poor and has high soil erosion.
Common land such as pastures, forest and revenue land constitute 72% of the total land area in our work area. Nearly 80-100% of rural poor depend on common lands for food, fuel and fodder. However due to anthropogenic pressure, encroachments have been happening on common lands of forests and village pastures are severely degraded.
The degradation of lands result in the loss of top soil with water runoff leading to lesser penetration of water in the ground hence ground water is depleting at a rapid speed. Further, lack of trees and supporting fauna affects the local ecology. Degradation has led to low availability of fodder, fuel, wood and other forest produces affecting the livestock productivity and income and food security of indigenous communities. And importantly, the interest of people to maintain them is lowering with time.
The work of afforestation therefore becomes crucial not only from the point of view of ecological restoration but also for providing sustainable livelihoods for the local community and making them interested towards conservation of those lands.
Till now, Seva Mandir has developed and afforested 1,915 community pastures, forest sites and wasteland sites, covering plantation of more than 20 million saplings across 17,000 hectare land in tribal areas of south Rajasthan. Through this work, 63,000+ families and 400,000 livestock have benefited with access to local produce- fuel, food, fodder besides improving ground water table and local ecology.
This year, with partners and supporters like yourselves, we have planted a total of 0.35 million saplings during monsoons in our working area. Going forward, we will ensure survival of these planted saplings with the support of local communities.
Thank you for joining hands with us in this incredible journey to make this planet a better place for next generations to come. We greatly appreciate your trust in us and for supporting our project.
Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team
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