How Crowdfunding is Helping Conserve Water in Rajasthan

An impending severe global water crisis is close to gripping the world in its clutches. Today, over 780 million of the world’s human population is unable to access clean water and the number goes up every year. A report by WaterAid, a London-based nonprofit, in 2016 revealed that Indians have it the worst. About 76 million Indians are unable to access clean water, followed by China with 63 million. As our resources deplete rapidly every day, each city around the world is destined to be delegated its own “Day Zero” like Cape Town, if we don’t intervene in time with effective solutions.

2030 could be the year many Indian cities and regions witness their Day Zero, according to environmentalists and researchers. Rajasthan has quietly been working on a solution for the past two years, and its effects are already visible! The state turned to crowdfunding India to implement their strategy for water conservation effectively.

How crowdfunding is beating Rajasthan’s water crisis

Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan was launched in January 2016 by the Chief Minister and was then considered India’s largest water conservation campaign ever. It would benefit 21,000 villages in the next four years, by 2020.

The program kicked off with a budget of Rs 3,600 crore for the first year, the government faced a shortage of Rs 1,200 crore to meet the target for 2016. However, the state was deft and quick in tackling the situation through crowdfunding initiatives that surpassed all ambitions and goals, helping raise enough to keep things running smoothly. Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations united in their efforts to save every drop and actively took part in the funding. On the first day of the crowdfunding campaign alone, Rs 7 crore was raised. Rajasthan’s entire police force agreed to pitch in a full day’s salary to the campaign, collecting another Rs 1 crore. The legislative assembly pledged a full month’s salary as well!

Crowdfunding displayed the true power of the crowd in this situation, as the government and the people united towards a single goal. The program now strives to include the locals in its efforts to conserve water and raise awareness about the water crisis among local NGOs, corporate houses (through CSR activities) and religious communities. The initiative also depends on crowdfunding India donations of not only cash, but kind and labour from across the state as well.

In 2016 alone, the program benefited 3,000 villages and hit 12,000 this year in 2018, surpassing over half their goal in 1.5 years! Over 673 million donations were made, making this initiative one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns ever run in India.

How does crowdfunding work?

In India, the concept of crowdfunding was thought to be ideal only for the nonprofit sector at first. NGOs were seen garnering support, reaching more donors and raising funds for their projects through crowdfunding India platforms like Impact Guru. However, this notion was dismissed quickly as crowdfunding gained popularity among patients who couldn’t afford their healthcare, students who wanted to study expensive courses, communities that wanted to rebuild themselves after a natural disaster, artists who were struggling with their skills and so on.

The kind of features crowdfunding offered turned out to make it an ideal funding solution for nearly any industry. Crowdfunding is:

  1. Risk-free as no payback is required
  2. Convenient, letting you find donors on social media and raise funds at home
  3. Safe, providing you with a secure donation platform
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