Climate change is one of the biggest environmental threats the human race is facing. The threat is severe in rainfed areas of semi-arid regions of Rajasthan and Bundelkhand, where poor farmers face acute water scarcity. The Rajasthan State accounts for 10% of India's total land area, and 5% of its population but has only 1% of the country's water resources. Recurring droughts coupled with a reduced number of rainy days, erratic monsoon rainfall, and lowering groundwater levels pose challenges for agriculture and human health. Lack of access to resources, knowledge, and a support system further exacerbates farmer vulnerability. Farming is a key source of livelihood but due to unpredictable weather patterns, marginal farmers face the challenge of food security.
Groundwater levels in Rajasthan have declined by 62.7%. The per capita availability of water in the state is only 807m3, which is less than
half of the national average of 2,000 m3, and is expected to decline further to 457 m3 by 2045.
The agriculture sector is the biggest consumer of freshwater, and hence under constant pressure to use water resources more efficiently by improving the performance of both irrigated and rain-fed production. India needs to look after its resources today, or else scarcity will pose a serious threat to food security in the future. Irrigation is considered the most critical input for enhancing agricultural production to meet the food and fiber requirements of India's increasing population. About 70% of farm irrigation is done through wells/ tube wells energized mainly with electricity and diesel generators.
Manjari has been implementing an integrated approach to resource management aimed at empowering farmers to become self-reliant for the whole year. We are investing in creating water bodies where farmers can collect and harvest rainwater. We are also training community institutions (Pani Panchyats) at the village level to efficiently manage water resources. These institutions carry out participatory planning, implementation, monitoring, and supervision of the watershed program in their villages. We follow the philosophy of “per drop more crop.” Water is a critical input in agriculture. How much, at what time, and how plants are watered, have a determining effect on the eventual yield. Good seeds and fertilizer fail to achieve their full potential if plants are not optimally watered.
'Manjari’ literally translates to “seed of Tulsi”, a sacred Indian plant. When women mobilise themselves to form institutions, they are empowered to sow their own ‘seeds of change’.
"Development of Corporate Citizenship (DoCC), the social internship program of SPJIMR has been collaborating with Manjari Foundation since 2015. This has been fruitful relationship for us. I want to emphasise the four following themes. First the internships give our students a different idea of leadership which also gives them a sense of requirements for the future and adds to the ethics of sociological content. The participants acquire a notion of innovation- both social and technical which gives them a systemic view of the society. Such an empirical location gives them both a sense of limits and possibilities of what they can do. Environmental consciousness and gender sensitivity constitute two critical parts of social responsibility as we define it today. The participants of the internship understand what these key concepts mean in everyday sense. Internship at Manjari adds to their imagination in this direction. We value this relationship."
"Our collaboration with Manjari has allowed us to better understand the approach of solidarity groups and concretely towards the empowerment of women in the commune of Logo.The participation of Indian PRCs has been beneficial because the women have appropriated easily by seeing that they are rural women Indian women who share their experiences with them. The Camide team was formed by the professionals of Manjari with enthusiasm and professionalism and is able to reproduce most of the activities. This period of collaboration opens up prospects for our two structures to replicate the model in Mali and Africa. We again thank Manjari for all the efforts made for Camide and particularly the Director Sanjay Kumar. We were able to reach more than 2,500 women and more than 180 million CFA francs of credit granted four test henhouses substantial support for the winter and market gardening campaign in terms of results thank you."
"Without larger vision and dedication of the team of MF and its leadership, both vertical and horizontal growth would have never been possible to pick up at this level in this short history of its evolution. Since I have been associated with the Sakhi project of MF funded by Hindustan Zinc for the last 2 years, the happiness and confidence seen in their faces of hundreds of women in the villages proves its vitality. I have also witnessed the UN-women funded second chance education project (SCE) being implemented in 3 districts under the guidance of PRADAN is a much worthy to reach out to those young women in the age group of 16-35 who have been deprived in their childhood with the education, skills and employment are now happily enrolled and trained to overcome these deprivations with much positive outcome. While writing all these statements, I recall each visit to the project area to witness the change processes that were taking place within those women who had never dreamed of being so empowered and self-reliant so soon in their lifetimes."
"Manjari Foundation is IPE Global’s implementation partner in Dholpur, Rajasthan under the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), UK supported Project Udaan that aims at reducing teenage pregnancies. They have been instrumental in successfully piloting interventions for improving the knowledge of adolescents around sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Bari block of Dholpur. Their efforts in organizing a team to take up the issue of adolescent SRH and facilitating its implementation with great sensitivity across the block has not only been recognized by the district administration, but has also paved way for attempting a scale-up across the district. Their coordination with the community-level institutions, local government bodies and the target group has been noteworthy and exemplary. "