Status report: June, 2009

There are many lessons one learns in an undertaking such as pointReturn. Those from Nature come in accompanied by compelling evidence and demonstrations. These are exciting to learn. Those of a personal nature however, seem harder to accept . I will quickly deal with the latter first.

Personal lessons highlight what we know but seldom accept. For example, that money can’t dictate speed. Deliveries of goods and services are a consequence of interactions between a number of people and events over which one has little control.

Quite a part of the time in this project is spent waiting for things to happen. I, being at the age i am, sit and despair that with all these problems and delays to cope with, I will never complete the project. Then suddenly things move and I forget the delays and expenses. I have thought that I should write these difficulties down here, but even in spells of inaction I am busy: researching options, making calls …and of course fretful. [By the way, the antidote for this malaise, that I have discovered, is to sit quietly and ruminate on all that has been achieved at pointReturn so far.]

Lessons that Nature teaches you are to do with re-learning knowledge that one was certain of; in the light of experience in the field one scurries back to corrective information. One makes mistakes frequently; what seemed a permanent solution hits a new hurdle. The antidote is to try things in a small scale before spreading iout.

Water woes:

One of the missions of pointReturn is to make it self-sufficient in water for all its needs, which, given the inadequate groundwater, meant harvesting enough rainwater. Readers who have been following my endeavours will recall, how the windmill had struggled and how I had dug a 1.3 million litre capacity pond encircling the borewell from which the windmill pumped. There was a distinct improvement in the windmill’s output; I had raised first year’s tree plantings successfully on the water pumped; and I had cropped two small grain harvests in a tenth of an acre

However, it is clear, there is more to do. Lack of the usual bonus summer showers this year has exposed how marginal our water security is. We have struggled to water all the plants. I am now chagrined that my declaration of “Mission Accomplished” a year ago, ranks with the other famous premature one in recent history.

7 thoughts on “Status report: June, 2009

  1. Hello Mr. DV,

    I’m following the posts here as well as on twitter closely…One problem with the twitter though – We miss the thinking process / the emotional highs / lows and photos which you were describing in the posts on website posts….those were more important…because that is what matters in such projects. Twitter gives just the plain updates. Hence, request you to start giving updates and yes – photos etc on the website articles.

    Regards,
    – Kedar

  2. Dear Dv

    I am a follower of point return for a few years and i beleive i can bring in volunteers in regular numbers, i would like to meet you in person and discuss the same. you may mail me at sridhar.lakshmanan@gmail.com or call at 9445384021
    Regards
    Sridhar

  3. shobhan…
    you make a good point. active RWH and recharge is the next major exercise at pointReturn. the problem is, the pond’s floor is impervious clay, in the summer when water is most needed, the windmill has poor supply and the hardpan soil all over the site facilitates rapid runoff.
    the solution is to trap rain water where it falls and guide it underground.
    -dv

  4. DV,

    I have read all the articles. I am a regular visitor to your site. I wish your pR to be a success.

    I have a question though. When you had rain last year, there was excess run-off from your site. Also any excess pumped by the windmill goes into the network of pipes you have installed. Why not make all these excess water be led into the borewell itself? It will stay there as is and you can use when you want it? you can install a filter ( RWH type) which will clean the water and then let into the borewell.
    Let me know what to do you think about it.

  5. We totally understand your pain. Some 8000 of our tree saplings went without watering because the motor failed and the repair service men made mistakes on top of it. But most of these saplings survived with two feeble showers in between.

    I read somewhere that plants decide very early whether they can survive or not. They do not waste time and energy growing up into sick adults.

    Incidentally, we read a couple of pieces recently that lifted our spirit.

    Kareem’s forest
    http://59.92.116.99/eldoc1/e23_/01jan08csy1.pdf

    The Man Who Sowed Gandhi and Reaped Happiness – from GNI!
    http://www.goodnewsindia.com/index.php/Magazine/story/cherkady-natural-farmer/

    Our village near Coimbatore received a fair amount of rain today. Hope the clouds go where you are too.

    Ragu and Nisha@greenlocal

  6. Wow. This was a very interesting article DV. Thank you for such an honest and lucid piece.

    I am wishing the wind brings you rain soon :)

  7. Dear DV,

    Good to see an update on the happenings at PR.

    The whole project is indeed a mighty challenge,and one can clearly visualize the amount of endurance, and resourcefulness that’s needed to pursue and progress.

    Results apart, I am sure you are having a great experience in all of this. and is certainly inspiring to follow whats going on.

    As for a shower, I am sure a whole lot of us are already praying for it :) its probably just a week away.

    Regards,
    –Ganapathy

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