Training on Water Conservation and Climate Change

In order to address this issue of management of natural resources in light of climate change, CSR partnered with Hanns Seidel Foundation in 2012-2016 to develop a Training Programme for the Elected Women Representatives and To-Be Elected Women Representatives of Rajasthan.

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In 2015, CSR with support from HSS and local partners SIDART (Jaipur) & Jan Cetna Sansthan (Abu Road) successfully conducted training of trainers for Elected Women Representatives of tribal & non-tribal belts of Sirohi district of Abu Road (Southeast Rajasthan) and for Elected Women Representatives of sub-urban population of Sanganer district of Jaipur (Eastern Rajasthan). In 2016 with the available training material, CSR with support of HSS planned to expand this training program on water conservation and climate change to western Rajasthan which is historically known as a drought prone area.

The training program on Water Conservation and Climate change for Elected Women Representatives, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, Anganwadi workers was conducted from 5th to 8th August at Atal Sewa Kendra in Bhinmal Block of Jalore district. The training program was conducted in order to create awareness among Elected Women Representatives on their role as leaders in water conservation, about various government schemes related to water and how they can use them. The participants of the training were Sarpanch, Ward Panchs, AWWs and ANMs. The details of the training are addressed in this report.

Day 1
Pre-Lunch Sessions
As the designed training program intends to establish linkages between Gender and Water Conservation, therefore the first day of the training was solely devoted to building understanding of participants on Gender. This was done through a series of activities and discussions.

The session opened up with an introduction of the trainers to the participants. Ms Ritika Bhatia gave an introduction about CSR and then briefed participants about the four days training program, its purpose and importance. Ms Richa Audichya started the session on Gender. As the participants were new to this term and its concept, she carried out a small activity to strengthen their understanding on Gender. This activity focused on building their understanding on the difference between “Gender” & “Sex”

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Activity 1: The participants were given an exercise sheet consisting of five images with questions which depicted women and men in different situations or gender roles. Through these images we tried to make participants understand that there are certain things that are natural i.e Woman give birth to a child while the rest of the images were depicting the socially constructed roles. Thus, we were able to build understanding of difference among participants on ‘Sex’ which is to ‘Nature’ and ‘Gender’ which is a ‘Social Construct’. The participants actively participated in this activity and were able to relate to the visuals present in the exercise sheets.

They were able to highlight their daily life experiences and relating them to the concept of gender. Also they were made to think about the reasons of why women are only associated with household work, the prevailing patriarchal structure of the society, how is it affecting both men and women and other issues like the issue of mobility of women, distribution of wages, education of girls, importance of girl child etc came up as the discussion went on.

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When this activity was executed, Mr Dhukaram, Pradhan and MR Puraram, MLA, joined us. They motivated the participants to attend the training program and shared its importance in building their knowledge and awareness about issues that concerns the whole community and the action that needs to be taken to overcome this problem. He discussed about water scarcity in their area and also committed to grow more plants. This was an oath taken by every individual present in the training.

Post Lunch Session

In order to energize participants and further deepen their understanding on Gender and Gender Roles, another activity was conducted. The activity was facilitated by Ms Richa Audichya and Ms Prachi Sharma

Activity 2: The participants were divided into two groups. Group A was asked to consider themselves as Men and group B was asked to consider themselves as Women and accordingly list down the qualities and their daily routine. Through this activity we further tried to bring to their notice about the differences in the gender roles. The roles and qualities that group A came up with were emphasizing on the Male Dominance and the privileges that men are born with where as the points of Group B depicted women in submissive roles and largely associated with household work. Men were found to be involved in leisure activities, violent behavior towards their partner, having authoritative attitude etc whereas women were found to be involved in upbringing of the children, household chores, working on fields, animal rearing etc.

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The trainer listed down all the points and then asked participants to close their eyes. While they closed their eyes, the trainer immediately changed the heading i.e Men in place of Women and vice versa, of the points listed by the participants. Now all the characteristics of men were listed under the heading of women and vice versa. Participants were then asked to think of a situation where in the roles were reversed and if it was possible to do so. It was noticed that women were able to see the differences between the gender roles and how these roles have been formulated by the society, why one dominates the other, how deep rooted they are. Some participants who were more active and were slightly aware about these difference shared their willingness to change them but were unable to do so because of the societal pressure. The discussion was thus ended with an effort to create a sense of responsibility and motivation to change these deep rooted traditional ideology which is affecting not just women but men and society at large.

Activity 3: Gender Mapping

Another interactive activity Gender Mapping was conducted in order to lay the basis for the discussion to be carried out on the following day. This activity comprised of images where women were shown as the primary users of water. The images showed various domestic spaces where water is required and is used by women. Here, through this activity we tried to link gender with the issue of water conservation and to make women understand their crucial role in conserving water. Also women were able to understand the amount and the value of the work they do.
In the end, participants were informed about the agenda of the second day

Day 2
Training on second day began with a recap of the learnings from the previous day. This was done through a short film screening on gender followed by the discussion wherein participants shared about their learning of previous day’s sessions. As the agenda of second day involved discourse on Water conservation and climate change, the activities conducted emphasized on the same but with a gender perspective to it.

The first session of the training was taken by Mr Suman from Centre for Environment Education. He discussed about the technicalities of the issue of Climate Change making simpler and comprehensible for the participants. He discussed the implications of climate change in great detail. Mr Suman, through visuals also showed participants various methods of water conservation.

Activity 4: Board Game
Following the above discussion, Ms Ritika and Ms Prachi facilitated the Board Game which was similar to Snake and Ladder game with some obstacles and promoters throughout the game. The board game had certain questions emphasizing on the role of EWRs in the development of the village and in addressing issues related to water in the panchayat meetings, various ways through which they conserve water, impact of water scarcity on their menstrual hygiene etc.

Through this game women were made to understand their participation in decision making and other political & development processes. In the discussion followed, participants, especially EWRs, were motivated to participate in the gram sabha meetings and raise the issues that concern them and community to further seek solutions to these issues. Women were told about the role of EWRs – Sarpanch, Ward Panchs, how they can benefit themselves and community at large through their participation in decision making processes. This activity largely emphasized on the leadership roles of EWRs and to aware, sensitize them about the same.

Following this participants were shown a film “Aarohan” which highlighted the active role of a Sarpanch in conserving water and reviving the water sources in here village. Also the film was able to show the leadership role of woman representative and her presence in decision making processes. This film was able to motivate the participants and explain them the role and responsibilities of panchayat members in the development of their area.

Day 3
The session was started with recap of the previous day session.

Activity 5: Save Water- Pass in the Pass
As water conservation requires collective action among water users, therefore in order to build the understanding of need for collective action, Ms Rita from Centre for Environment Education did an activity wherein women were divided into two groups and were asked to collect water in a container by passing water in a spoon to another participants without spilling it. Through this activity we tried to make them understand that as they were able to fill the container with a collective action, similarly in process of water conservation, it would require every individual to come together and take collective initiatives towards common interest.

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Activity 6: Resource Mapping
After conducting this activity, participants along with trainers made the resource map of their area wherein they located. Through this activity participants were able to locate different resources available in their area and identification of the resources with good and poor quality. This activity was then linked with the Gram Development Plan, wherein the participants were told about the plan that they can make highlighting the water related issues and through resource mapping they can visually show the areas where resources are available or scarce.

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Discussion on Schemes
After making of the resource map Ms Richa Audichya oriented participants about various schemes related to water and later discussed about the benefits of the schemes in detail. She told about the benefits available to beneficiaries under MNGREGA, like the financial benefits that they people are paid for making structures for water conservation like for Roof top water harvesting, building checkdams, ponds etc. She told them about the procedure for filling the proposal in the panchayat and shared other useful information with them.

Day 4
Last day of the training was light and filled with fun. The participants prepared a street play in groups. For this they were first shown a film briefing them about what a street play is all about and how it is prepared. And later they were divided into groups and were asked to prepare the play on the issue of water and climate change incorporating the gender perspective, role of women representative in dealing with issues and showing the leadership role, and importantly conservation of water. It was a participatory activity where participants applied their understanding around the issue of climate change and water conservation. Also it helped in reinforcing and recapitulation of the four days training program.

Activity 7: Three Generational Change
Three Generational Activity helped in re-establish their understanding on the requirement of women to take leadership role in water conservation in their area.

The training program was ended with distribution of the bags and reference materials which involved the material that was used during the training. This was given to the participants because this would help them in conducting the training in future.

Remarks by CSR Team
• Looking at the situation it seems that the number of trainings in the area should be increased

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