All revolutions don’t have to be red in color. Milk is white and water is blue. – Old jungle saying
[Editor's Note: Meera Sanyal, CEO of RBS India who contested parliament elections in 2009 as an independent candidate in South Mumbai, went on a 15-day field trip to Gujarat in Mar 2012. She wrote a wonderful blog post about Hari Bhai - once the village head of Kiyadaar's milk cooperative who went on to apply cooperative principles to kickstart a movement in water management which is being dubbed as a "blue revolution". This post is based entirely on Meera Sanyal's field report - with my usual cherry-picking methodology.]
The first win – repairing the sub-canal
In 1979, the building of the Dharoi dam on the River Sabarmati, brought the promise of irrigation to Kiyadaar. Unfortunately this remained only a promise. Until 1997, Kiyadaar like many other villages in Mehsana, received no water at all from the irrigation canals of Dharoi. So Hari Bhai, got the villagers together. They studied the canal system and realised that the gradient of the sub canal, to their village was wrong, thus making it impossible for the water to flow towards their village. When entreaties to official departments failed to yield results, the villagers labouring together, first remedied the gradient problem and then repaired...