Phalode Cluster Integrated Development Project

Report by Rtn. PP Makarand Phadke

During my presidential year (RY 2020-21), we were planning to initiate a watershed development project to build up on the work done by our club in Phalode are aduring RY 2018-19 and before. When we came to know that Watershed Development projects was also the district focus area, it added to our motivation for the project.

Through PDG Vinay’s contacts we got support commitment from 43 German Rotary Clubs from RID 1830. Six clubs from our district also agreed to join as partner. Both RID 1830 and our district committed substantial DDF. With this support committed we could plan substantial sized project.

Recognizing that a project of this nature would be a challenging project to execute given the distance of the project site from Pune, its scale and lack of experience with similar projects in our Club, we needed a strong & committed core team. Fortunately, a stalwart in Rtn. Sunil Gokhale agreed to become the primary contact and Ann Kavita and Datta Deshpande agreed to become part of the core team.

With the funding committed for and the core team in place, we had planned on submitting the application during first quarter of RY 2020-21. In early June 2020 we found that TRF was changing its matching funding rules beginning RY 2020-21. To take the advantage of Rotary Foundation’s then existing rules for fund matching we had to get in our application before June 2020 end. Anyone who has submitted Global Grant applications will appreciate the challenge of getting the application ready and reviewed by all the partners within thirty days. However, thanks to excellent team work and hard work by Rtn. Sunil, we were able to get the application in before the deadline.

We got the project approved in November 2020 and funds were received by January2021. Value wise (USD 193,750 or Rs 1.45 cr) this is the single largest project that our Club has carried out. We have further augmented the value of the project with funding from CSR partners (e.g. Marico, Pratham Technologies, who have been regular contributors).

The project is in its third year and even though very little work got done in the first few months due to COVID pandemic, we have made significant progress. Weare well on our way to achieve the project goals. Recently there was a midpoint review by an expert from TRF and his feedback has been very positive. What he liked most was that this is not merely a watershed development project, but livelihood opportunities are also being to take advantage of increased water availability.

Key accomplishments are noted in the Table below and also shown pictorially.

Summary of Interventions and results therefrom –

1) Provide access to drinking water in the villages 600 +population is now getting drinking water in their villages

2) Creating Irrigation facilities for supporting Rabbi and summer crops Irrigation facilities established for 40+ Ha

3) Soil and Water Conservation Activities 100+ Ha of land covered with watershed structures

4) Increase RICE productivity 40%+ improvement in rice productivity due to use of SRI method and use of Jeevamrut

5) Space for carrying out Livelihood activities –Reconstructed Hall in Savarali village for carrying out livelihood activities

6) Stitching Machine for ladies Provided 17 machines and conduct training class

7) Provide Rice Mill to produce Brown Rice Villagers can fetch a price of 90/kg of rice vs. Rs 50/kg for polished rice.

8) Introduction of value-added crops Strawberry, Onions, Potatoes additional crops being planted

9) Reconstruction of School Toilet at Phalode Toilet building is completely rebuilt.

As I reflect on the challenges that we had to overcome, following learnings stand out –

  1. Making WOTR as partner of the project. They have the expertise and have been able to put boots on ground.
  2. A very committed core team and on-going support from Club members
  3. Very hands-on approach to manage the project including weekly zoom calls and at least monthly visit to the project site.

It has been lots of hard work for the whole team but when you see the results on ground it feels all the hard work is worth it.

Rotary Club of Pune Metro Logo

Rotarian Surekha Deshpande

President 2023-24

(M) 9823019069


Rotarian Prerana Joshi

Secretary 2023-24

(M) 9158998136