In a model gesture, a panchayat heads and youngsters of a village near Peravurani, of Thanjavur district, have decided to opt out of holding ‘aadal paadal’ dance to save money and spend it on desilting three lakes in the water-starved Naadiyam.
The move will help them conserve water for farming and improve the groundwater table level. Once a prosperous agricultural region, Naadiyam is witnessing large-scale reduction in crop coverage mainly due to lack of proper irrigation and water crisis, forcing the region’s farmers to keep their paddy fields uncultivated for long. Though a major run of Cauvery’s 400-km journey in Tamil Nadu goes through the delta region, the farmers are forced to wait for the monsoon as the river has dried up.
This has led to shrinking of the delta, farmers said. As the villagers are yet to see an end in sight for the drought, the panchayat heads came forward to rejuvenate all the water bodies in the village. Cuddalore collector V Anbuselvan has also extended his support for the mission, said G Neelakandan, a native of Nadiyam village. “People who have taken up the process of desilting the 366-acre Periyakulam lake in Peravurani is our inspiration,” said Neelakandan, a senior officer at Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology in Chennai. Neelakandan organized a meeting with village heads and youths on Saturday morning and discussed the ways and means to revive their water bodies, including lakes, ponds and waterways, he said. “Mobilizing fund is a huge task.
As we were discussing fund collection from each family, the youths — who are normally keen on conducting dance programmes during temple festivals — came forward and offered to cancel ‘aadal paadal’ programmes to save money for the venture. Such dance programmes take place at least three to four times a year and cost around Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh. Around Rs 10 lakh-Rs 12 lakh can be saved and that can be utilized for rejuvenating the water bosdies,” he said.