Project BOOND by BPCL – Women in rural India are expected to trek for more than five hours every day to bring clean water to their families. Our daily trip to school, which takes us through rural areas, exposes us to this problem. Women in these villages have been witnessed performing this labor, which is not only physically demanding but also hazardous to their health and well-being. Because of their water collecting method, they are forced to make a difficult decision, making them more exposed to abuse, unable to attend school, and unable to work.
Project BOOND by BPCL
India relies heavily on water conservation.
India accounts about 4% of the world’s water resources. However, according to the NITI Aayog, India is witnessing the worst water crisis in its history, with about 600 million people without access to water. It is the product of years of overexploitation exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Water scarcity is aggravating social inequality and lowering mass productivity, emphasizing the importance of water conservation for both businesses and society.
While many towns with enough water may be immune to the immediate effects of water scarcity, they are not immune to the negative ripple effects that it generates in less fortunate areas. The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) provide a framework and objectives for global efforts to move toward more inclusive growth and sustainable living.
BPCL: A Leader of Water Conservation
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has been granted Maharatna status. Its origins may be traced back to 1860, when it was known as the Burma Oil Company. India obtained independence, and a rejuvenated new administration took power a few years later, in 1952. However, the company was known as Bharat Refineries Ltd at the time. It wasn’t until 1977 that it grew into Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, an innovative energy powerhouse.
BPCL Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) acts in the key emphasis areas of education, skill development, people with disabilities, water conservation, health, and hygiene. Respectful, synergistic cooperation are required for the implementation of programs for the upliftment of the most marginalized sections in the regions in which it operates (SDG 17).
BOOND Project: Water is Life
Water scarcity causes a slew of social ills, including dehydration, water-borne infections, improper sanitation, and poor hygiene. An economy cannot function without access to water. Access to water is critical for survival. Water is necessary for existence on its own. While keeping these fundamental principles in mind, Bharat Petroleum CSR has made substantial efforts to promote water security in rural areas.
Bharat Petroleum CSR cooperated with NGO partner DHAN (Development of Humane Action) to rebuild and maintain water infrastructure so that villages may have a constant supply of water throughout the year. One of BOOND’s components, Project BOOND AkshayJal II (2013-2016), aimed on establishing rainwater collection systems and supporting communities with sustainable means of livelihood. In Mokhada (Maharashtra), the drip irrigation component resulted in higher crop yields and easier access to water for farmers.
This flagship initiative has been exposing farmers in Bharatpur to organic farming methods, building watersheds, and collecting rainwater since 2013. It also splits them into groups for training sessions and forms women’s SHGs. BOOND encourages the villagers to contribute 15% to 25% of their expenses in order to give.
The Effects of Project Boond
The project proactively developed a variety of committees to supervise the financial and administrative operations of the activities in order to change the villages from passive recipients of help into active participants who can continue on on their own. The CSR team departed the venues after establishing that the participants were independent over time. Inadvertently, Project BOOND has evolved into the CSR program of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Construction of agricultural ponds, KT weir dams, sub-surface bunds, gabions, cordons, and small percolation tanks, as well as well rehabilitation and deepening, roof runoff collection, and tank desiltation, are all preventative measures. The program’s viability is ensured by strong community participation in various activities, particularly “Shramdaan.”
Project BOOND (Water conservation project) has given many people fresh hope by implementing a number of water conservation interventions in a number of water-scarce areas. Building check dams is a practical means of collecting rainwater. Rooftop water collecting is a supplement to the larger scheme. This growing mass provides long-term water availability while also significantly rising groundwater levels. Farmers get more money when there are longer months of adequate water for their livelihood.
Another advantage of refilled tanks and farm ponds was increased income from fisheries and organic farming. It is also utilized as a reserve for irrigation of a subsequent crop, with the water collected.
More than 230 villages have been turned from “water scarce” to “water positive” as a result of Project BOOND (Water conservation project), a feat that was previously regarded to be difficult, if not impossible.
BPCL was able to dramatically enhance the lives of beneficiaries through this project, with positive benefits on livelihood production, groundwater recharge, soil erosion management, and food security.
Because of BPCL programs, the duration of water retention in wells, hand pumps, and soil moisture retention near Bunds has all been prolonged. It has also made it easier to irrigate wheat and mustard because less water is required from bore wells. Several projects have been implemented since 2013, including the creation of watersheds, training courses for farmer groups and self-help organizations, farmer training in organic agriculture, and so on.