Stressing that development at the cost of culture is not sustainable, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today highlighted the age-old traditions of water conservation and sustainable use of water resources in Rajasthan, saying these practices have virtually made it a drought-free state.
“Our past tells us how civilisational strengths may steer us through the contemporary challenges. It is important that we evolve our own indigenous ways of achieving sustainable goals,” Ms Mahajan said at the inaugural session of the meeting of the Women Parliamentarians’ Forum here.
“Development at the cost of culture is not sustainable,” she stressed before the women parliamentarians from member countries at the session in Rajasthan Assembly.
She highlighted the traditions in the desert state of Rajasthan in water conservation and sustainable development.
“Rajasthan receives scanty rainfall. The society here nurtured a strong tradition of water conservation and sustainable use of water resources derived from the teachings of leaders such as Shree Guru Jambeshwar Bhagwan, who preached preserving biodiversity and sustainable natural resource management in order to peacefully co-exist with nature,” she said.
She said this resulted in a community-driven effort in the field of rainwater harvesting, water conservation and watershed development, making Rajasthan virtually a drought-free state.
Ms Mahajan mentioned Laporiya village in the state, saying the village did not require a single water tanker as it had developed a unique dyke system called the ‘Chauka’ and other traditional water conservation methods.
She said one of the first environmentalist movements inspired by women was the ‘Chipko’ movement (women tree huggers) started in the early 18th century in the state.
“Women risked their lives to protect the forest trees from being felled,” she added.