Getting Things Done Sustainably
Chapter 5: Fostering real social contracts - Hermann Bacher and WOTR
Visitors to India have to fill out a visa application. This application would be as unremarkable as any other visa form if it were not for the slogan on top - welcome to incredible India (and computer-savvy India, for good measure, also maintains an incredible India homepage run by the government). Readiness for the seemingly incredible is part of the subcontinent's meta-culture. Having passed through customs, new arrivals to cities like Mumbai and Pune are exposed not only to bustling roads, but also, every now and then, a holy tree in the middle of all the buzz. For this case study, we travelled from Mumbai via Pune to the Ahmednagar district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, where the organization WOTR (Watershed Organisation Trust) first started working. Watershed development refers to the conservation and regeneration of water in its relation to land, vegetation, animals and humans within the draining basin of a river or lake. It concerns taking care of freshwater as a fund so that it can sustainably provide its key functions in the watershed, not least for livelihoods and income from agriculture. Watershed development thereby raises many technical issues. Yet, WOTR posits that the social side is just as important. It has developed a complex participatory approach; in fact, something seemingly incredible: a real social contract.
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