The Springs of Life and Livelihoods

Mountain springs are a major source of water supply for rural households in the Himalayan region. Of the 5 million springs in India, about 3 million are in the Himalayas[i]. However, spring water supply has increasingly become uncertain in recent times due to several reasons such as impact of climate change and anthropogenic agents such as change in land use, increased demand, and ecological degradation. Some of these change agents impact the rainfall pattern leading to high intensity rainfall with reduced spread. This naturally leads to increased runoff and reduced capture as ground water.

Presenting a short video directed by Surendra Kumar Singh showcasing the COVID-19 relief work in Jharkhand carried out by Vikas Sahyog Kendra with Support from BRLF.

Bheema Adiwasi, 40, is a Sahariya tribal. Like most members of his community — one of the poorest and impoverished in India —- he has no steady income; he occasionally earns some money by working in the fields of a local landlord in the Vijaypur block of Sheopur district, Madhya Pradesh. Bheema is entitled to Rs 600 per month disability pension from the government, but unfortunately the allowance does not reach his account every month.

Sarajmuni Soren, 31, is a resident of Majhali village (Angrabhasa-II Gram Panchayat), Nagrakata block, in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. Her husband, Sushil, is a daily wage worker, and they have three children: Two daughters (seven years and four years) and a one-and-a-half-year-old son.

Bikas Sardar, 34, has been working as a migrant labourer for more than 10 years. He is semi-literate and unskilled, and, therefore, Sardar never had the luxury of holding a permanent job at one particular location. Sardar went where the labour contractor took him. In the last four years, he has been working at construction and pipeline-laying sites in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata.


Is ‘out of sight’ truly ‘out of mind’? That’s what many water experts in India believe when it comes to our groundwater. The fact is, as a country, we are greatly dependent on groundwater, being the largest users in the world. According to reports, at just over 260 cubic km per year, India uses 25 percent of all groundwater extracted globally, ahead of the US and China.Equally significant, 70 percent of the water used in agriculture today is groundwater.In fact, according to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2012, 90 per cent of rural water and 48 per cent of urban water supply is sourced from groundwater resources. Thus, it is evident that groundwater is a lifeline for the country. That said, there is little understanding of the importance of groundwater, in both the policy and public spheres.

  • We have reached 67,306 Households and Covered 29,843 Hectares of farmland.
  • Increasing availability of healthy and quality food and safe water.
  • Protecting soil, insect and animal bio-diversity.
  • Enhancing farmer profitability.


Building capacity dissolves differences and irons out inequalities. These words by former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam echo our philosophy at BRLF. With the capacity gap at the grassroots causing a chasm between outlays and outcomes, we have set up a capacity-building vertical for existing and aspiring rural professionals in the country. One of its initiatives is the Certificate Programme in Rural Livelihoods (CPRL).

BRLF has designed a unique and innovative training program called the Certificate Program in Rural Livelihoods (CPRL) to address the challenge of scarce trained human resources at the field level particularly focused on tribal areas. It is a six month residential training program with 16 different modules in rural livelihoods delivered by 15 knowledge partners across nine states of India. BRLF in collaboration with IIHMRU has successfully completed 4 batches of CPRL with a collective strength of 116 tribal students graduating under it. The first batch of CPRL started on 15th of November’ 2016, covering a journey of great learning and experiences across 13 locations in 7 states and it got completed on the 24th of May’ 2017. At the moment the fifth and sixth batch are in progress with another 58 candidates going through the course.