An abandoned pond rejuvenated near Gwalior

A pillar with Rotary Wheel adorns the pond site.
A pillar with Rotary Wheel adorns the pond site.

Twenty-five villages and 25,000 habitants are the beneficiaries of a resurrected pond in Kulaith, a reserve forest 25km from Gwalior. The pond was brought to life by Rotary Club of Gwalior, RID 3053, through a global grant project with TRF, RC Omaha, RID 5650, USA, and RC Nagpur, RID 3030. Gwalior ­Alcobrews extended major support as part of its CSR endeavour.

“When we first saw it two years ago the waterbody was in such a pathetic condition — it was filled with silt, and the boundary walls were broken. It simply was in no condition to gather rainwater. The place was an abandoned site infested with anti-social activities,” said project coordinator Prabhat ­Bhargava, an architect. The club conceived a global grant project to rejuvenate the waterbody.

Work began after taking requisite permission from the local administration and forest department. The pond was desilted, excavation was carried out with tractors and the ­excavated earth was used to build the boundary walls and bunds. The area surrounding the pond was beautified with plants and a garden. A pillar with Rotary Wheel now adorns the garden. Over 200 saplings of 60 species have been planted in the region. Around 10,000 fish were also purchased and left to breed in the pond.

DG Harish Kumar Gaur (second from R) visits the rejuvenated pond with the club members.
DG Harish Kumar Gaur (second from R) visits the rejuvenated pond with the club members.

The restoration exercise raised awareness about water conservation among the villagers and they are happy to be able to grow more crops as abundant water is available now, said Bhargava. The pond can now store 30,000 cubic metres of water. Facilities have been made to direct the flow of excess water from the pond to nearby canals during monsoon season.

Even as the project was nearing completion, there was good rainfall and the pond got filled up significantly, said DG Harish Kumar Gaur who inaugurated the project two months ago.

“The whole area has now become beautiful. Now we find hundreds of birds visiting the area. The water source will help satiate the thirst of wild animals in the reserve forest and also help villagers irrigate their lands and maintain the cattle.”

The district has set up 35 Covid care centres. RC Bhiwadi, his home club, has recently established three Covid vaccine centres and is donating a TB screening van to the government next month. “This year we have created 40 Happy Schools with CSR support,” Gaur added.

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