“My idea of village swaraj is that it is a complete republic, independent of its neighbours for its own vital wants, and yet interdependent for many others in which dependence is a necessity. Thus every village’s first concern will be to grow its own food crops and cotton for its cloth. It should have a reserve for its cattle, recreation and playground for adults and children. Then if there is more land available, it will grow useful money crops, thus excluding ganja, tobacco, opium and the like. The village will maintain a village theatre, school and public hall. It will have its own waterworks, ensuring clean water supply. This can be done through controlled wells or tanks. Education will be compulsory up to the final basic course. As far as possible every activity will be conducted on the cooperative basis. There will be no castes such as we have today with their graded untouchability.” (Harijan, 26-7-1942; Vol. 76#: Pg. 308-9.)

Owing to the increase in the numbers of people in the village over the past few years (caused by an unchecked growth of population in the region), the infrastructure facilities in the village is crumbling under the pressure.

As the vision of M.K Gandhi outlines his dream of an ideal village of our country, our government took initiatives in the form of groundbreaking schemes in the recent past like Gram Swaraj Yojana,Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana , RuUrban etc. These schemes mainly focus on making the grassroots of our civilisation independent for its vital needs but dependent for its social growth, as dependency is a necessity without which the development may come to a halt.

We as the shapers of our nation’s infrastructure and development, believe, that it is not just the design and provision of the facilities that enhances the growth of any community, but the reason we provide the dwellers with, to lead a lifespan in that place. So the balance of infrastructure should be maintained with even more thoughtful and value creating policies in our society, more so at the rural level. In rural to rural migration, it is the availability of job opportunities within their limits of affordability that lures. Looking forward to a scenario of 2047, we can envision the rural India as a cohesive, self sustaining group of villages where people of diverse backgrounds and fields, from politicians to administrators, farmers to businessmen, artists to celebrities live in a harmony. This broad vision can be actualized by formation of redefining policy framework that attracts the villagers as well as the citizens back to villages, apart from the detox lifestyle and peace that we have been looking for these days. Taking inspiration from the villages of Leh and Ladakh, for example, a non taxable income for the local villagers, a subsidized and non taxable source of income can help them to develop the village on their own.

Whereas we as a partee to the developers should focus at the basic amenities and maximizing the natural opportunities each and every village provides due to its uniqueness, rather than developing a prototype which deems fit in every situation or place.

Current Status and Problems


Inadequate facilities for growing population:


As Khatu Kalan is situated in semi arid region of Rajasthan, the water conservation becomes the first step of development. From this activity all other progressive activities flow. It is a cyclic and mutually reinforcing chain. Water scarcity is due to inadequate rainfall, degrading ground water level and least water retention capacity of the soil.

Negligence of Ecology and Environment:

Somewhere along the path of developing Khatu Kalan, we have forgotten to take sufficient care to preserve its environment. As a result, polluted air, dirty streams and open garbage dumps have almost become accepted features in Khatu Kalan today.


Our main objective is to implement rain-water harvesting with indigenous communities for sustainable development and livelihood generation and also to enhance the capacity of the indigenous communities in water management and use efficiency.


Water Conservation:

The construction of johads, earthen small-scale reservoirs can help to harvest rainwater and improve the recharge of groundwater resources. Existing rain water harvesting structures can be restored to revive the feeling of one-nest with nature which existed in village communities, and to create an understanding and ethos of integrated ecosystem development.

Community Participation:

Communities should be mobilized around the issue of water. Natural resources can be used to construct these structure and communities can contribute their labor.

Drainage and sanitation:

To improve sanitation and waste management facilities in village, modified local dry toilets as well as flush toilets should be provided. The waste water and storm water will be treated first by reed bed and then by a STP to make it potable. The treated water is then supplied back to the village making the village zero water balance.

Rain Water Harvesting:

Each house shall have two rainwater harvesting tank for storing drinking water. The runoff from hills will be collected in the existing step well. The existing step well shall be connected by a channel to collect the extra runoff from the hill to the proposed step well.

Renewable Energy:

Power will be required to run Sewage Treatment Plant and supply water back to the village. Since the village is located on an altitude, so we should rely on renewable sources of energy. Solar energy and wind energy are the most potent renewable energy sources that can tap Village’s needs.

Multi-purpose Space:

The Structure above the water storage tank is developed into a multi-purpose space. The structure house two underground tanks, a step well, a women’s center and a skill development center. All the spaces are designed along a visual axis showing the connectivity between the start and the end. There is consequent play of light and shadow to give it a captivating look.


Rameez Raza, Ranu Duhan, Puneet Dua