Nimal Raghavan- Reviver of Lakes, Saving the Water Bodies! Let Us Find Out!
The severe cyclonic storm, ?Gaja?, swept across the coast of Tamil Nadu in November, 2018. It not only claimed several lives, but the strong winds resulted in the uprooting of trees and absolute carnage to the agricultural fields that people relied on for their livelihood.
Dubai based software developer, Nimal Raghavan, was left awestruck by the damage done to his native village, Nadiyam, located in the Cauvery Delta region, that had been absolutely decimated by the Cyclone. In order to help his hometown get back on their feet, he moved back and began to source relief materials such as clothes, groceries, toiletries and monetary donations from across the globe through his viral social media campaign- #BounceBackDelta.
However, he realized the need for a more sustainable and long term solution to help restore the livelihood of farmers. Farmers were less inclined to take up agriculture as a livelihood because of the lack of adequate water resources in the region throughout the year. The river Cauvery is the only source of clean water, however every year nearly 150 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of the Cauvery river water is lost due to lack of proper means of storing and channeling the water.
In order to address this issue, Nimal sought to rejuvenate dried up local reservoirs and other water bodies. He founded the Kadaimadai Area Integrated Farmers Association (KAIFA) to start with the pilot project of desilting and rejuvenating the Peravurani Lake, one of the largest lakes in the Delta region. Once rejuvenated, the lake would be able to store and accumulate water received from the Cauvery river and would consequently enable farmers to practice agriculture throughout the year.
Over a span of more than 100 days, against all adversities, he finally desilted the 250 acre lake and created the much needed reservoir of water for the villagers. The water collected in the lake has helped plant over 25,000 native saplings. Through his foundation, Nimal is now setting his eyes on restoring 64 other water bodies that will help improve the lives of people in the area.