Developing Cadre of Para-Hydrogeologists for Springshed Management


A one-day workshop entitled  ‘Developing Cadre of para-hydrogeologists for Springshed Management’ was organized by the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Sikkim University in association with Govind Ballabh Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment at Griffiths Higher Secondary School, Takdah, Rangli Rangliot block, Darjeeling district on September 02,  2022.

Inaugural Session of the workshop with resource persons and invited guests

The event was part of the bigger research project entitled Spring Rejuvenation for Water Security in Himalaya’ funded under National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS), Government of India  and is being implemented across selected aspirational districts of Himalayan states in the country.

Darjeeling district is one of the aspirational districts selected for the purpose and Dr Vimal Khawas heads the Darjeeling chapter of the project . The project aims to develop a model ‘water sanctuary’ around a selected spring and undertakes many activities focussing on the rejuvenation of depleting water resource and its optimum management.

One of the major activities of the project has been to train series of young para-hydrogeologists who are also commonly called water ambassadors or jal doots  from the project area and its immediate surroundings over the period of three to four years. The objective is to produce a critical mass of trained youths who would appreciate and understand the significance of water resources, particularly natural springs, and subsequently work for their conservation and sustainable management in the region. The workshop provides basic knowledge of water resource followed by hands on training to understand critical parameters of water including the measurement spring discharge. 

Students undergoing hands-on-training on understand critical parameters of water

The workshop trained more than 150 plus-two standard students of Griffiths Higher Secondary School drawn from the disciplines of Sciences and Humanities. Resource persons of the workshops included trained geographers including Dr Vimal Khawas, Dr D R Dahal (Asst Professor, Namchi Govt College) and Ms Suveccha Ghatani (Senior Research Scholar, Dept of Geography, Sikkim University). Senior civil society members, Mr Binod Dhanuki and Mr Dhondup Golay also graced the event and talked on ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and Importance of Afforestation, respectively. Headmaster of the historic Griffiths Higher Secondary School, Mr Bhim Pradhan, was kind enough to grace the workshop as special guest. The event was also joined by the esteemed faculty members of the school. The workshop was coordinated by Mr Kabindra Sharma, Project Fellow, under supervision of Dr Vimal Khawas, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies and Management.  

SEE ALSO:  COVID19, Water Scarcity and Unsafe Mass of Darjeeling Hills
Dr Vimal Khawas handing over saplings to Mr Bhim Pradhan, HM, Griffiths Higher Secondary School

On the side-line of the event, a plantation drive was also carried out wherein about 50 biodiverse saplings were planted at the school premises to mark the importance of afforestation for rejuvenation of water resource.

Jubilant Para-hydrogeologists after successful completion of one day workshop onDeveloping Cadre of para-hydrogeologists for Springshed Management

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