Kulin Parekh, Rajkot: Rajkot is a city that faces water-scarcity every year during the summers, no matter how good the monsoon has been. At a time when Gujarat is staring at a major water crisis, and its vastly populated cities are not being of much help in water conservation either, an educational institute from Rajkot in Saurashtra region of Gujarat gives us lessons in how to tackle water problems.

G.T. Girls High School in Rajkot that has housed 400 students in its hostel has never faced any water scarcity in summers since many years because of its rain-water harvesting techniques. Started in the year 1924 by two widowed sisters Bajigauri and Shivagauri, the motive was to empower women by educating them. This institute has been following a wonderful technique of rain-water harvesting from the very beginning. A pipeline has been laid out in a way that every drop of rainwater that falls on the terrace or the premises of the institute gets stored underground. Nine well have been dug to store this rainwater. In the beginning, they would use buckets to pull the water out of these wells for use. They later fitted a hand pump to draw water above, and now there is an electric motor installed at the premises which have eliminated the human effort in drawing water.

Sustainable usage of water despite its ample availability

Despite having a water supply from the municipal corporation, underground bore, and the stored rainwater, the usage of water at this institute is done with minimum wastage. Every single person ensures that they don’t waste even a single drop of water at the campus. The wastewater that is discharged from the RO Plant (Reverse Osmosis) in the institute is used for the cleaning of toilets. Even water that remains after mopping the floors of the school is then used for irrigating the trees in the campus.

The trustee of the school-cum-hostel, Sharmilaben tells us that during the scorching summers, the supply of water is irregular from the municipal corporation and the water levels of the underground bore too decrease. There were also a couple of instances where the area had faced drought, and at such trying times the stored rainwater came as a blessing for us. The 400 female students living in the hostel at the premises have been using the stored water for their daily use for more than a month, but the storage tanks never run out of water. She tells us that every building in this is must use this technique to store water.

Naisargi Malkia, a former student of this school who belongs to Chotila Taluka in Surendranagar district says that this institute has been a boon for girls belonging to villages of Saurashtra. There may not be any such institutes across the state that provides quality education with provisions for their stay in the campus for a nominal fee. The specialty of this institute is the importance it gives to the conservation of water which sustains the environment around us. Colleges and schools must take lessons on the sustainable use of water from this institute.