US-Based Indian Engineer Spends Rs 22 Lakh to Solve Water Scarcity in His Native Village

Datta Patil at Halgara

Datta Patil, a US-based engineer transformed his drought-hit native village. Halgara village in Maharashtra now has water storage of over 200 crore litres.

Remember the award-winning film Swades? A story straight from the plot of the film has unfolded in Halgara, a tiny village in the Latur district of Maharashtra.

Datta Patil, a US-based engineer, grew up in Halgara. He studied at the government school in the village till class 10. He went on to pursue higher studies outside the village and eventually bagged a job in one of the top MNCs in the United States.

Even after moving to the US, Datta never forgot his roots. He visited his family and village in India once a year. It was one such visit to the village that made him realise that it was no more like the place he had grown up in.

At that point, the village was facing extreme water scarcity and had to rely on trains bearing water tankers, even for drinking purposes.

Returning back to the US, Datta started researching to find solutions for the issue. He figured that it was the alarmingly low groundwater level at the village, which was then at 800 ft, leading to water scarcity.

His next plan of action was to help the villagers save rainwater in order to recharge the groundwater table. He spent almost Rs 3 lakh from his own pocket to start the watershed activities in the village.

As part of his efforts, a 20 km canal was desilted, and 20 recharge wells and 26 check dams were built. To date, Datta has spent around Rs 22 lakh on this project as his personal contribution. Besides, he also convinced his employer, Yahoo USA to support this initiative to revive the village.

Thus, Halgara was transformed into a model village with a water storage of over 200 crore litres.

Watch this inspiring story here:

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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