Gender, Water and Climate Change


The water and climate change program for Elected Women Representatives in rural Rajasthan, which began in 2012, is CSR’s first initiative to address the ever-growing issue of environmental management, water governance and climate change action. Our training program aimed at empowering Elected Women Representatives to take on leadership roles in water management and conservation within their constituency and wider community. CSR, with support from Hanns Seidel Stiftung, conducted technical training workshops and facilitated handholdings in different parts of Rajasthan, namely, Jaipur, Abu Road and Jalore.

Some of our key beneficiaries have the following insights to share which directly elicits the impact generated by this program from 2012-2018:

1.) Uma Sharma- Sarpanch from Chakshu (Jaipur):
”Initially, the local authorities didn’t pay heed to my development efforts and claimed to know more just because they are men. But, I was persistent and waited outside the office of district collector for days, until one day he finally met me, and then I got headway”

Uma Sharma formed the Mahile Jaagruk Manch with the aim of mobilizing women, and further trains them in her capacity as a Sarpanch to increase their motivation levels and advocacy for water conservation. Her proposals for development of trenches and check dams have been approved by the Panchayat and Zila Parishad, and she closely supervises the development work.

2.) Kailash Kunwar, Ward Panch, Pindwara, Abu Road
”My program journey since 2012 marks the shift from being a ghoonghat-clad coy woman to an active member of Panchayat”

Through her proposal efforts in the gram panchayat meetings, Kailash Kunwar was able to restore a 35 year old well. To partake maintenance of this dried-out well, she even secured 32 lacks funding under the MNREGA scheme.

2018 saw the project transitioning from elementary gender trainings to core technical trainings on wide-ranging topics such as geohydrology, water budgeting, watershed management and rainwater harvesting. With the aim of consolidating the multiple technical and capacity-building trainings since 2012, CSR organized a three-day National Workshop on Best Practices of Water Management and Water Conservation in India. The key beneficiaries of this project since 2012 got an opportunity to present their learnings, gain a better understanding of water conservation by experts in the field, and learn about the diverse ways of water management in different states of India. This workshop saw enhanced participation from other stakeholders such as local NGOs, policy makers, Government’s PHED department, academics and members from the Ministry of Rajasthan.

CSR has expanded it's initiatives in other water-scarce parts of India, such as Alwar and Abu Road, and presently work with Self-Help Group women in Alwar to increase their understanding of water conservation methods and enhance their technical development to undertake the construction of sustainable water management systems.