DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT DESTRUCTION,
EMPOWERMENT FOR ENABLING CHOICES

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

WATER, SANITATION & HEALTH
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WATER, SANITATION & HEALTH

Numerous projects fall under this wide-ranging, vital programme area. Remote, isolated communities have every right to clean water, essential sanitation, and high-quality healthcare – no one should be left behind when it comes to these basic human necessities. Pragya works to bring clean drinking water to last mile communities underserved in this regard, assessing local need and implementing the most appropriate water solutions.

Our hygiene and sanitation work combines knowledge and awareness building with the construction of shared sanitation facilities in villages and schools. Our comprehensive healthcare work is both preventative and curative, spanning nutrition, road and workplace safety, pop-up health clinics for the last mile, and maternal healthcare. Through these initiatives, Pragya helps alleviate hardships and promotes dignity among neglected communities.

Our hygiene and sanitation work combines knowledge and awareness building with the construction of shared sanitation facilities in villages and schools.

Success story

KUNWARI DEVI’s STORY

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WATER, SANITATION & HEALTH

Clean & Safe Drinking Water

Unprecedented global levels of demand for rare medicinal and aromatic plants for use in natural remedies and cosmetics has led to uncontrolled collection of these plants from the forests and grasslands they are found in nature. Many of the delicate ecosystems that are naturally attuned to support such plants are already suffering the effects of climate change, which in conjunction with rampant habitat destruction, is leading to a huge loss of biodiversity. Much wild-harvesting typically involves methods that prevent any regeneration of the plants, and is consequently unsustainable. Numerous such plants are now endangered, and yet they play an important role in the interconnectedness of local flora and fauna, contributing to the stability of ecosystems as a whole. Moreover, a number of indigenous populations in isolated rural communities have limited access to state health care, and rely instead on the traditional medical knowledge of local healers that have for generations harnessed these medicinal plants for the health and wellbeing of their communities.

WATER, SANITATION & HEALTH

Clean & Safe Drinking Water

Pragya is working to conserve and protect threatened species of medicinal and aromatic plants in the unique ecosystems that support them in parts of northern India.

We are generating awareness amongst communities through educational sessions and campaignson the local herbal wealth. We also deliver courses for schools and colleges on conservation of herbal flora and habitat management. 

We empower communities to protect and monitor locales at particularly high risk through initiatives like ‘Community Protected Areas’, areas of depleting medical plant wealth protected by social and / or physical fencing, with replanting where necessary. In particular, Pragya promotes local youth engagement through training and enlisting them as ‘Young Biodiversity Managers’, equipping them with biodiversity monitoring guides, plant identification manuals, re-planting materials and tools, for habitat and biodiversity monitoring and upkeep.

We have collaborated with communities to conduct ethnobotanical surveysand to document the herbal wealth in biodiversity-rich areas and to identify threats to biodiversity. Working together with traditional healers, Pragya secures the preservation of ethnobotanical knowledge through the likes of herbal wealth inventories. Read more about our research and documentation work on medicinal plants in Pragya’s program on Culture Preservationand on our Researchpages.

Pragya has also developed cultivation of the threatened species of medicinal plants as a viable alternative source of supply of the plant material, which has had a significant impact on the conservation of their status in the wild- see Pragya’s Program on Cultivation of Medicinal Plants.

WATER, SANITATION & HEALTH

Clean & Safe Drinking Water

·    Fostering a strong sense of community ownership of local environments and natural resources.

·    Traditional ethnobotanical knowledge preserved through documentation of local herbal wealth and its uses.

·     A grassroots movement working for conservation of medicinal plants in the Himalayas andconserved areas of medicinal plants concentration. 18 Community Conservation Councils and 120 youth Biodiversity Monitors have set up 12 Community Protected Areas andmonitor these endangered natural habitats,which has helped to significantly enhance populations of threatened Himalayan flora in those micro-habitats.

·     Preserving the rich but threatened repositories of herbal wealth for future generations. Directly protecting dense areas of herbal wealth which are at particularly high-risk, reducing anthropogenic pressures on medicinal plants in particular, benefiting the local ecologies, including wild fauna dependent on the species.

·     A substantial reduction in the threat to endangered species of medicinal and aromatic plants- wild harvesting of medicinal plants has been reduced to zero or close to zero within target locations.

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