Farmers Repurpose Borewells For Rainwater Harvesting

Tamil Nadu was glued to the television this Diwali, watching the rescue of two-year-old Sujith Wilson, who had fallen into an abandoned borewell near his house in Tiruchirapalli district. Unfortunately, he could not be saved, despite 82 hours of rescue efforts.

The toddler’s death was a wakeup call on the need to regulate abandoned borewells in Tamil Nadu. In the past 15 years, at least 10 children have lost their lives in the southern state after getting trapped in unused borewells.

To avoid such incidents in the future, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD) passed orders to convert abandoned dry open wells and borewells into rainwater harvesting structures across the state immediately. The state’s IT department proposed a hackathon to find a working model to rescue children stuck in borewells or tunnels.

Manohar Khushalani, Ed, had implemented, the same, in his house, way back in 2003. The Water Harvesting Structure continues to function flawlessly. Drawings Designs are available elsewhere on this website,

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