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Day 6

Today was our first  day out in the Mewat District. We traveled by car in what should have been a 1.5-hour drive, but took us a bit longer because our drivers had no idea where they were going, even though they said they did (this became a theme throughout our trip). Our first stop was at Untka School, where we were greeted by a large crowd of men and boys from the village. This was a very different experience for me. There were no women or girls standing there watching us. Since it is winter break from school, all the school-aged girls were working with their mothers in the fields and homes, and gathering wood from the foothills to use for cooking. This dynamic is so different from what I am used to, and it was a bit of a culture shock.

Untka School is home to a rainwater harvesting system for the local community. This system allows for rainwater to be collected and filtered during the monsoon season, and stored for later use throughout the rest of the year. This is the source provides fresh drinking water for all the children who attend the school.

After visiting Untka and learning about the technology implemented there, we traveled through the district to visit the major check dams in the area. The check dams, situated in the valleys below the foothills, are extremely important structures that increase groundwater recharge during the monsoon season, and help freshwater supplies last longer in the dry season.

We ate lunch and spent our afternoon at Sehgal’s Ghagas Center in the Mewat District. This location is home to a community-run radio station, called “Rural Voices of Mewat” (check out Sehgal’s website for more information about their radio station and its goals: It is also home to a large garden that utilizes drip irrigation and semi-saline water to grow fresh produce.

Today was an eye-opening experience, and one that I will never forget. Water poverty is an extremely critical reality — one that we often ignore and don’t experience in the United States. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of this day, and I will never forget the things I learned or the people I met.



Last modified on September 18th, 2018
Posted on September 18th, 2018