100 Water Heroes: Farhad Contractor

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Founder of Sambhaav Trust

Farhad Contractor is the founder of Sambhaav Trust, a voluntary organisation that operates in six Indian states, that “works on reviving and strengthening ecologies in more than 300 villages.”

Having been awarded the Smile Fellowship, he chose to spend time in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, “a place that would run out of water and fodder leading to as much as 70% migration” (Khandekar, 2013). Farhad moved on to work in Bakasar, collaborating with villagers to rejuvenate close to 120 beri’s, and facilitate the creation of close to 400 new ones.

Together with six partners, Farhad registersted the Shambaav Trust, focusing on “rainwater harvesting and community empowerment in the Thar Desert.” One of Farhad’s key principles is to engage and activate the community to fix local issues:

“Centuries of indigenous wisdom that has found water for drinking and irrigation - even in extremely arid landscapes - wells, filter ponds and other catchment systems [the wisdom] still rests with the local communities. And even without any government intervention, they know very well how to manage water.” (in Singh, 2010)

Farhad is one of our #100WaterHeroes because he recognises the value of engaging communities, and empowering them to take charge of local water management issues.

Twitter: Farhad Contractor

Sambhaav Website: https://sambhaavtrust.in/