On 24th November, CHIREC International School, The Rainwater Project and SAHE Society came together to inaugurate the historic stepwell of Gachibowli. Gachi-baoli, meaning lime-well, is a 200-year-old stepwell built during the Asaf Jahi Dynasty. This ancient structure, prone to degradation, lost its significance to urban development until the three organizations took the responsibility of restoring this heritage structure and its natural aquifers for the benefit of the community living in the area.
On this occasion, Sh. Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary, Govt. Of Telangana, Sh. V. Prakash Rao, Chairman TWRDC, Smt. Priyanka Ala, Zonal Commissioner West Zone, Dr. Pt. Madnure, Director, Telangana Ground Water and Sh. Venkamma, DC, Sherillingampally graced the event to inaugurate the restored Gachi-baoli.
Ms. Kalpana Ramesh, CEO of The Rainwater Project addressed the audience and shared with them the history of the well and the significance behind restoring water resources. She also took the audience through the 200-day restoration journey and highlighted the steps involved from cleaning the debris in the well to installing aquifers for water restoration and developing the site to make the well accessible to people.
The Chief Guest, Sh. Arvind Kumar, said, “Restoring, preserving and bringing a heritage figure back to shape is not just a great initiative but it’s fulfilling for every human being. This restoration sends out a strong message to Hyderabad. The efforts of CHIREC as the funder and The Rainwater Project and SAHE as the implementers will serve as an inspiration to every community and all the schools.”
The guests also unveiled a book outlining the process of restoration to aid and promote revival of many more stepwell across the city and country. The well with its volume of 30,00,000 litres will now serve and benefit the members of the mosque for wudu activities, the bores of schools, the residential and community area nearby and landscape irrigation and storage purposes.
Speaking on the occasion, Sh. V. Prakash Rao shared, “Hyderabad has always been famous for its Baolis and Baghs. Restoring them will help us revive the city’s historical significance and will bring us closer to giving back to nature.”
In addition to funding the project, CHIREC International School also connected this real time restoration to classroom learning to promote a sustainable mindset amongst students. “It has been a great privilege to be a part of a project that connects us to our historical roots in addition to serving the community and benefiting the environment. Through this initiative, our students undertook various project-based learning activities to apply their learning to real-time problems across several disciplines such as history, geography, sustainability.”, say Ms. Iffat Ibrahim and Ms. Sanchita Raha, Principals at CHIREC.
India, which has 17.7% of the world’s population but only 4% of the world’s fresh water, stays under an economic burden of Rs. 445 crores because of water borne diseases. Ms. Kalpana says, “It is high time we as individuals and as a community start taking responsibility of not just saving water as much as we can but join hands for restoration of our water resources to save ourselves from the water scarcity indicated to happen in the near future.”
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