Israeli embassy partners with Aarohan to take drip irrigation to schools

Students learn about skills, innovation & sustainability

Society

August 4, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Israeli embassy partners with Aarohan to take drip irrigation to schools

Israeli Deputy Ambassador Clein and a student plant the saplings together (MIG photos/Aman Kanojiya)

With climate change becoming part of daily news, Delhi-based NGO Aarohan, which works with children, ties up with the Embassy of Israel to impart knowledge of water management and sustainable agriculture to help support underprivileged communities in India.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi along with Aarohan, an NGO that helps underprivileged children access proper education and skill training, participated in an inauguration ceremony to establish usage of a drip irrigation system at Nehru Smarak Inter College in Greater Noida about 50 km from New Delhi.

Israel’s deputy ambassador, Rony Yedidia Clein, and other embassy members were given a tour of the government school premises by the president and founder of Aarohan, Rani Patel, who explained how reverse migration of thousands of migrant workers during the sudden lockdown meant that the school now often remained empty.

Students of Nehru Smarak, Aarohan member and Israeli Embassy staff (MIG photos/Aman Kanojiya)

“When the Covid-19 pandemic started, thousands of migrants were going back to their villages because they could not find any kind of livelihood. A vicious cycle has been generated in schools where enrolment is not happening because most of the parents have lost their jobs and gone back. It is alarming that the school infrastructure will collapse, but none of us are talking about this,” Patel says.

As these government schools often do not get enough financial support and staff, such schools could have closed down, but Patel explains that the space can now be utilised for teaching children agricultural innovation and sustainability.

Clein and some female students who were also invited to the event participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony and proceeded to perform the old Indian traditions of lighting candles at the shrine and cracking a coconut to symbolise new beginnings and imparting knowledge to the youth.

A drip irrigation system that was fixed in the school, was inaugurated by Clein and Patel who started the water pump and helped the students plant saplings in the pots, demonstrating how the technology works. Developed in Israel, drip irrigation is now a popular farming technique across the world. This method allows water to drip directly and slowly to the plant’s roots, which helps save water and nutrients by minimising evaporation.

“India does not have a water scarcity problem; it has a water management problem. In Israel, we have found various methods of water management, and drip irrigation is one of the key elements of that. So we want to show Indians everywhere how to use drip irrigation in order to conserve water, in order to better manage their plants and their agriculture,” Deputy Ambassador Clein tells Media India Group.

Clein explains that these kinds of methods are key in encouraging sustainability worldwide.

“The United Nations has put forward its Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is making sure countries around the world manage their water better and so this type of technology is a very important part of that,” she adds.

Imparting knowledge of these techniques among students will be of great benefit because it encourages their long-term development as well as economic empowerment of underprivileged communities. Drip irrigation is a crucial method to improve efficiency of agricultural techniques, and several studies have showed the importance of irrigated agricultural in food production, especially in rural areas.

“We found it very important to bring it here, because working with a school like this, we can bring this knowledge to children who will then bring it home. They will learn all about drip irrigation and water conservation and we hope they’ll be able to take it out into the community. And the children get something for the long term. I hope the children here will nurture the plants and work with the system that we’ve given them and learn how to grow better plants and vegetables,” says Clein.

Aarohan founder Rani Patel and Deputy Ambassador Rony Yedidia Clein plant saplings (MIG photos/Aman Kanojiya)

The Israeli embassy has previously collaborated on projects with NGOs all over India. This year, they are focusing on water management. Patel explains that since 2014, when Aarohan had begun its association with the embassy, she has been approaching them to work on such a project and teach students this crucial technique.

The embassy has expanded this project to various parts of India, such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and hopes to continue their mission to work with NGOs like Aarohan and spread the word about Israeli technology and sustainable water usage with Indian people, in order to better manage water systems.

Patel believes that nurturing and inculcating such practices among India’s youth will have indispensable benefits in the future.

“These are practical things they can share: explain to their parents who don’t understand our language. If we provide children with the right environment, the child will be a building block for the nation,” says Patel.

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