Barh Mukti Abhiyan (Freedom from Floods Campaign)

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Barh Mukti Abhiyan (Freedom from Floods Campaign)

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Dinesh Kumar Mishra is organizing communities in flood-prone areas of India to remember local, decentralized ways of coping with floods. Through country-wide education programs on traditional flood management systems, Mishra has launched a movement that empowers citizen groups to re-establish their cultural ownership over rivers and create a new paradigm of flood control ---- non-confrontational tools that respect the natural cycle of floods and respond with minimum technological interference.

About Project

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Dinesh Kumar Mishra is mounting a grassroots movement that challenges the current, top-heavy flood control policy. Instead of relying on dams and embankments, which have become silt-laden time bombs sending tidal waves of water that routinely destroy whole villages, Dinesh opens doors to local leaders and gives them tools for managing and coping with floods. Dinesh's flood education programs are designed to help communities in river plains recapture their cultural and political ownership over rivers. The program gives them the technical, social, and historical information they need to assert local alternatives to government flood control policies. His education courses draw on pre-embankment historical records as well as traditional knowledge, and provide communities with sophisticated technical and social engineering skills. Entire communities learn of their pre-embankment identities. They study and reengineer flood control structures in their regions, reintegrate villages divided by embankments, and organize flood management strategies. Since 1992 Dinesh has been working in the Ganga and Brahmaputra river basins in Bihar state, India's most flood-prone region, where he has created an umbrella network, the Barh Mukti Andolan (BMA), of over 700 rural groups of "flood historians." Dinesh plans to develop a national platform for grassroots flood campaigners, who will maintain histories of their river basins and design region-specific responses to official flood control methods in their states.