Workshop 2 encompassed a series of events spanning March - August 2018. During this time, we collaborated with water stakeholders in and around Chirawa, India - located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan - and worked with a local school to produce a mural which narrates the history of water conservation and rainwater harvesting in the area.
Background: this region is deprived of surface water and depends on groundwater for domestic and irrigation usage. However, groundwater resources are over-exploited which has significantly affected the quality of drinking water (containing high levels of fluoride and nitrate) and there is a need to shift to other sources. In response, rainwater harvesting and traditional conservation practices have been playing a pivotal role. Education, awareness-raising and integration with land use and agricultural policies are all needed for widespread replication and impact. Our partners here include Ramkrishna Jaidayal Dalmia Seva Sansthan (RJDSS) – an NGO responsible for creating thousands of rainwater harvesting tanks, recharge wells and ponds in the region – the village of Jakhora (where 60% of the households now harvest rainwater for drinking) as well as painters and storytellers.
Mural and painting workshop: In May 2018 Nina Sabnani led a team of painters in the development of a large scale mural which narrates the trend away from rainwater harvesting during the 20th century and its subsequent reintroduction. The team collected stories and imagery from the region (drawing on the style of art associated with the Havelis of Shekhawati). Here is a short video discussing the project: https://youtu.be/pqOZgxVk6T0
Puppetry and water workshop: In August we engaged school children in Jakorha. We focused on three questions:
Students collected stories related to water from their families and their experiences. They discussed water issues with environmental experts and developed their own visual narratives to explain the challenges and opportunities around water scarcity. The workshop culminated in an evening exhibition and water museum in shadows.