About the Trust
"The dedicated work of the trust has turned rainy-streams into perennial rivers, 14 villages into Crorpati, and 25 villages as Lakhpati. Mrs. Ruia is called a "Water Mother" by the villagers where she works."
GRI, Jan 2012 issue
Mrs. Amla Ruia is well known name to people in India working on water harvesting projects in India. Born into a reasonably well-to do family in Uttar Pradesh, she grew up in a very simple and disciplined way. Her upbringing took place in a highly literary and spiritual way which allowed her to appreciate wealth without any undue attraction to it. Along with her tireless devotion to working with those less fortunate, she is also a gifted poet, songwriter, artist and spiritual teacher of the Gita. She currently lives with her family in Mumbai.
She founded the Aakar Charitable Trust to establish models of Integrated Development of villages and their economy. One of the major activities is the community based development of rainwater harvesting in the state of Rajasthan.
The main objective of the Trust is the protection of natural sources such as water, vegetation and soil as well as the promotion of dynamic education. Water has proven to transform the environment and economic status of the people in whose area rain harvesting has been undertaken in a systematic way. The organization has been fortunate to receive the able guidance of Sri Rajendra Singh Ji, Magsaysay awardees who has been the inspiring force for water harvesting.
With the magnanimous support of philanthropic organizations, like minded friends and family, the Trust has managed to construct many rain water harvesting structures popularly known as CHECK DAMS in water deficient areas in rural villages of India. Between 2007- 2015, the Trust has built 216 Check Dams in villages! A total of 7894 families of 117 villages have benefited by these water harvesting structures by improving ground water tables and giving improved security of irrigation thus increasing crop production.
These structures involve comparatively small masonry constructions and extensive earthen bunds. They are most effective in hilly terrain where the whole hill range can be used as catchment for the reservoir. They have all the advantages of the large dams and none of the disadvantages such as displacement and rehabilitation of people, huge un-utilized dead storage of water, water logging, risk of breach causing extensive damage to life and property etc. They are cost effective and bestow tremendous bounty upon the land and its people.
A myriad of problems our country faces can be solved with ease and alacrity with an increase in rain water harvesting initiatives that will allow our rural brethren live a much deserved life of dignity and prosperity. It goes without saying that the exodus from villages to urban areas is stemmed immediately when life sustaining water is available for cultivating crops in villages.